New EU sanctions package against Russia could be announced this week - Silina

  • 2024-02-20
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - A new package of sanctions against Russia in the European Union (EU) is already being prepared and could be announced this week, Prime Minister Evika Silina (New Unity) told the media on Tuesday, commenting on US President Joe Biden's remarks about the possible imposition of new sanctions on Moscow after the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Silina stressed that Latvia has so far supported the sanctions and will continue to discuss them with other EU Member States. The Prime Minister expects that at EU level countries will continue to move forward on the issue of redirecting the interest payments from Russia's frozen funds to Ukraine for reconstruction or additional military support to Ukraine.

At the domestic level, Silina also underlined that the draft law on the ban on grain imports from Russia and Belarus could be discussed in the Saeima this week. In addition, the Prime Minister described the takeover of the so-called "Moscow House" by the state as the right decision.

"I think it was a very right decision to prevent any kind of propaganda activity in this building. (...) Other colleagues in Europe have a lot of questions for us, how we have done it legally, because it is no secret that it is quite a complicated legal issue," said Silina.

As reported, the EU has until February 24 to agree on the 13th round of sanctions and to continue working on new sanctions against Russia, with a particular focus on anti-circumvention. Latvia wants concrete steps to be taken so that the EU can start accession negotiations with Ukraine as early as March.

In September 2023, Latvian financial institutions had frozen some EUR 74 million in relation to EU sanctions against Russia and Belarus.