On 15 October 2019, the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on the Turkish Minister of Defence, the Minister of the Interior, and the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources as well as taking action against the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey. The sanctions were imposed in view of the security situation in northeast Syria.
The Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs notes that in accordance with the Law on International Sanctions and National Sanctions of the Republic of Latvia and Regulations of the Financial and Capital Market Commission No 13 of 29 January 2019, “Regulations on Sanctions Risk Management”, U.S. OFAC sanctions in Latvia are observed by the participants of the financial and capital market, including banks, and that U.S. OFAC sanctions are observed in the field of public-private partnerships, the European Union funds and other foreign financial assistance.
The United States has issued a warning that persons that engage in financial transactions with the designated persons could also be subject to OFAC sanctions. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs requests that this additional risk be taken into account as well as drawing attention to the fact that the fulfilment of the already signed contracts with persons designated by the U.S. OFAC could be hindered or made impossible to implement while the sanctions remain in place. For further information on action taken by the U.S. OFAC visit https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm792.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to note that on 14 October, the European Union Foreign Affairs Council strongly condemned Turkey’s military action in North East Syria, which seriously undermines the stability and the security of the whole region, resulting in more civilians suffering and further displacement and severely hindering access to humanitarian assistance. In view of the circumstances, the EU Member States expressed their strong commitment to restricting arms exports to Turkey. Taking all of this into account, Latvian businesses that export strategic goods to Turkey should take the possible restrictions into consideration.