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EU sanctions against Russia may hit Riga - mayor

March 18, 2014, 2:03 UTC+3 RIGA
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RIGA, March 18, /ITAR-TASS/. Possible EU sanctions against Russia amid the events in Ukraine will affect not only Latvian economy as a whole but Riga in particular, Riga’s Mayor Nil Ushakov said in an interview to Latvian television on Monday.

“The Riga City Council is aware of the fact that sanctions would have a considerable effect on the capital’s economy,” said Ushakov.

First, since Russians are one of the most important groups of tourists visiting Riga who also spend more money than others, lesser number of them will cause grave losses.

Then, sanctions can affect real estate - as issuance of residence permits in exchange of investments will be terminated, reconstruction of buildings in Riga will cease. Finally, sanctions can have an impact on food export and cease the Rizhsky Dvorik programme - sales of specifically Latvian products in Russia, said Ushakov.

According to Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma, the republic may lose several hundred million euros should the EU introduce sanctions. The effect would not be immediate but prolonged over time, she added.

This week the Latvian government is planning to scrutinize various aspects of possible sanctions on the Latvian economy.

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