Aleksandr Lukashenko aligns Moldova with U.S., EU, Baltic States, Ukraine and Georgia

The Belarusian leader Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that what is said about democratic values is just talk. “Stop feeding us with talk about allegedly independent media and democratic values. We all see how they (Westerners) throw into prison their journalists, closing media outlets and harassing everyone who dares to disagree with the policies and actions of the authorities.” In his view, this is happening “from the U.S. and the EU to Moldova, the Baltic States, Ukraine and Georgia”. In this connection, Lukashenko urged his country’s media to strengthen propaganda and counter-propaganda, IPN reports, with reference to the Belarusian media outlet in exile “Наша Ніва”.

“We need to strengthen propaganda and counter-propaganda, ideological work. I want young journalists to learn this,” Lukashenko said at an alleged forum of the media community. “There is no need to be shy about such words and concepts. Do you think the West is not doing this? They just call it differently – public relations. The essence is the same. So let them work with public opinion on their territory,” said Lukashenko.

“Some may try to draw some parallels with the situation in Belarus in 2020, but this would be absolutely wrong. In Belarus, individual journalists were held accountable not for their opinions or positions, but for acting like traitors - they began to sow chaos in the country. We pushed back. We went after journalists for violating the laws.”

According to the Belarusian journalists’ association, 35 journalists are currently serving prison terms. All are recognized as political prisoners. Almost all the editorial staffs of independent media were forced to leave the country. The media that remained in Belarus are forced either to support Lukashenko’s policies or to completely exclude the political topic from their publications.

According to the 2024 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders, Belarus dropped 10 positions to 167th out of 180. It was among 36 countries where the state of press freedom is assessed as “very serious”. Moldova is on the 31st place, up three spots compared to the previous year.

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