Baltic States and Former Soviet Republics: Disinformation

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 3rd April 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Gethins Stephen Gethins Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking with his overseas counterparts to tackle the distribution of disinformation in (a) Ukraine, (b) Belarus and (c) the Baltic States.

Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan Minister of State

​We have a regular dialogue with international partners on the challenge posed by hostile state disinformation, including to align donor support in this field. The Foreign Secretary discussed disinformation at the EU Foreign Affairs Council on 21 January in the context of the European Commission's ambitious Action Plan Against Disinformation. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's own dedicated Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme aims to protect national security by countering disinformation directed at the UK and its Allies from Russia. It funds projects in a number of different countries that seek to enhance independent media, support civil society organisations that expose disinformation and share good practice with partner governments. Media plurality, institutional resilience and public awareness provide strong defences against disinformation, whatever the source, and sit at the heart of our efforts. In particular, we are supporting a new Open Information Partnership of European Non-Governmental Organisations, charities, academics, think-tanks and journalists which are working to respond to manipulated information in the news, social media and across the public space.

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