On 8 March 2023, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held the eleventh meeting of the Sanctions Coordination Council, where the main topic for discussion was “The year since the war started by Russia in Ukraine and comprehensive sanctions imposed by the European Union against Russia and Belarus”.
The Chair of the Council, Head of the Legal Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representative of Latvia before international human rights organisations, Kristīne Līce, informed the members of the council about the state of play with regard to sanctions on Russia. She pointed out that the imposition of new sanctions was currently decreasing, with the emphasis shifting to effective enforcement of sanctions and the prevention of circumvention attempts. The Financial Intelligence Service and the Bank of Latvia informed the participants about the lessons learned during the year and current tendencies in circumventing sanctions.
A representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that awareness of the risks of circumvention of sanctions and their proper management was a vital issue not only in Latvia and the Baltic States, but also in the European Union and among the G7 countries. Trade data is also being currently analysed in Latvia in order to understand how much of the increasing cross-border trade with third countries can be attributed to legitimate trade diversification and to what extent those are attempts to circumvent sanctions. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is planning to expand outreach to raise awareness of risks, especially among economic operators working in high-risk jurisdictions and industries.
Kristīne Līce thanked cooperation partners and invited them to continue fruitful cooperation between public authorities and the private sector towards compliance with sanctions in Latvia in the most effective way possible.
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