RIGA - The sanctions the European Union (EU) is going to impose on Russia should target Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and Russia's financial sector, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) said at a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels.
Latvia also stands up for introducing export control restrictions on Russia in order to restrain the transfer of dual-use goods and high technologies to Russia, LETA was told at the Foreign Ministry.
In Rinkevics' opinion, the escalation of the situation in Donbass expedited by Russia and a decision on keeping the Russian troops in Belarus after the end of a military exercise clearly evidences the need for the EU to begin imposing sanctions on Russia.
"We consider that Russia deserves condemnation for its aggressive and destructive actions aimed at purposefully escalating the situation in the region and turning against Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity," Rinkevics said.
In his comment on the Russian troops staying in Belarus after a Russia-Belarus joint military exercise, Soyuznaya Reshimost (Allied Resolve), has been officially concluded, Rinkevics noted that Belarus was descending into an increasingly greater dependence on Russia. This step, according to Rinkevics, is seriously undermining the sovereignty of Belarus.
At the Foreign Affairs Council, the EU foreign ministers also had a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmitro Kuleba, who presented Ukraine’s perspective on the current state of play in light of the threat of Russia’s military invasion.
Rinkevics reaffirmed Latvia’s strong support for Ukraine and called on the EU to launch a sanctions procedure against Russia. The Latvian Foreign Minister also expressed support for holding a meeting the EU's Foreign Affairs Council in Kyiv in the near future.
As reported, Russia has reportedly amassed more than 150,000 troops along the Ukrainian border. U.S. President Joe Biden said on Friday that the United States had reason to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin had made the decision to invade Ukraine.
The situation in eastern Ukraine has deteriorated significantly over the weekend, with Russian-backed militants launching new attacks against Ukraine.