RIGA - Latvian Transport Minister Talis Linkaits (New Conservative Party) has called on representatives of ports and businesses to critically assess their business partners and ships to which services are provided, demonstrating that ships related to Russia are not welcome at Latvian ports, LETA learned from the minister's aide Maija Rena.
Latvia along with other EU member states is considering a possibility to restrict Russian ship traffic in the EU territorial waters. Even before the new sanctions are launched, Linkaits called on Latvian ports and port companies to critically assess their partnerships.
Linkaits on Wednesday met with the Latvian Association of Stevedore Companies, administration of Latvia's large ports, Latvijas Dzelzcels to discuss the impact of sanctions against Russia on the transit and logistics sector.
Linkaits said that like with all other sanctions, it is important that decisions are made by all countries together. "Only joint policies will help us reach our goal - international isolation of Russia and maximum impact of the sanctions," the minister said.
The minister thanked the Latvian Association of Stevedore Companies for its clear stance, condemning Russia's attack on Ukraine, voicing strong support to Ukraine's EU aspirations. The association said in an open letter to the minister that ports are critical infrastructure and the sector is ready to ensure diversification of energy cargos from the West and take care of security of ports. Since 2014, the sector has been actively working on transformation to smart reindustrialization and diversification and is ready to develop further.
The minister and business representatives agreed that operational exchange of information and urgent solving of problem issues are essential. Also, cooperation with the Economics and Foreign Ministries is important.
As reported, on February 24, Russia started its invasion in Ukraine.