RIGA - As Ukraine is being targeted by Russia's aggression, Latvia's Progressives party is calling on the government to impose "comprehensive sanctions" on persons in Latvia that are close to Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime, said the party's co-chairperson Antonina Nenaseva.
The Progressives are urging the Latvian government to decide on freezing Latvia-based assets of officials of Russia's ruling United Russia party, entrepreneurs subject to other sanctions and close to the Kremlin, as well as their family members, the party says in a statement.
The Progressives strongly condemn Putin's decision to recognize the independence of the so called "People's Republics" of Donetsk and Luhansk, according to the statement.
The party denounces in especially strong terms the sending of Russian forces into these territories without the Ukrainian government's consent, which should be considered a repeated occupation of Ukraine's territories.
Nenaseva indicated that that the Latvian government should "set an example by introducing comprehensive sanctions against persons in Latvia that are close to the Putin regime".
The regions of Donetsk and Luhansk are part of sovereign Ukraine's territory and the recognition of their "independence" by Russia, like the annexation of Crimea in 2014, is a gross violation of international law, the Progressives stress in their statement.
"We are calling on Latvia and the international community to immediately introduce comprehensive economic and financial sanctions that would target Russia's political leadership, military industrial complex, military command and the country's economic structures, and to leave the sanctions in place until Russia stops its provocative actions against Ukraine," the party said.
"Although Ukraine's has the right to defend its territory, we are calling on the Ukrainian government to keep calm and refrain from direct military confrontation, restore the Minsk agreement process if possible and rely on diplomatic solutions in settling the situation," representatives of the Progressives said, adding that they are against any military resolution of the conflict as people's lives are the highest value.