RIGA - The European Union (EU) must send a strong and unequivocal signal to third countries that the circumvention of sanctions will not be tolerated, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) said at meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council on Monday.
In a discussion at the Foreign Affairs Council on the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Latvian foreign minister underlined the importance of military support.
"The EU must provide military support to Ukrainian armed forces in their fight against Russia’s armed aggression. Ukraine’s military needs must be met as soon as possible, on a broad scale and in the long term. Therefore, Latvia fully supports further increase of the European Peace Facility’s overall financial ceiling by EUR 3.5 billion," Rinkevics said.
At the same time, Rinkevics noted that the European Peace Facility should remain as a global tool continuing to also aid other regions, including African countries.
The Latvian minister underlined that it was critical to ensure funding for the EU Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine (EUMAM Ukraine) to match the overall ambition of the mission, including through handing over the needed military equipment to the Ukrainian armed forces after the completion of training of Ukrainian military personnel.
While addressing the issue of sanctions against Russia, Rinkevics called for the adoption of the 11th sanctions package as soon as possible.
Rinkevics also noted that tougher measures should be taken against attempts to circumvent sanctions.
“Circumvention of sanctions remains one of the major issues, especially with risks in trade through third countries. Therefore, the EU needs to send a strong and unequivocal signal to third countries that the circumvention of sanctions will not be tolerated," the Latvian minister said.
He also urged against delay in the adoption of new sanctions on Belarus, as well as reaching an agreement on the sanctioning of persons co-responsible for the persecution of the opposition politician, journalist, author and historian, Vladimir Kara-Murza.