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Latvia’s industry experiences effects of Russia-Ukraine row, PM says

March 25, 2014, 16:14 UTC+3 RIGA

Latvian Prime Minister said that the country's government had already considered concrete risks for the national economy

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Laimdota Straujuma

Laimdota Straujuma


RIGA, March 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Latvia’s industry experiences the effects of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, says Laimdota Straujuma, the country’s Prime Minister.

“Of course, we have trade problems. Our industry feels the effects of the conflict already today, when neither the European Union nor Russia have taken any retaliatory measures, because the Russian ruble declines and Ukraine has no more trade as before,” she said in an interview with the Latvian television on Tuesday. “Thus, slight restrictions for our entrepreneurs exist. However, as we saw in 2008, they found other markets for themselves very quickly.”

Representatives of Latvia’s food industry, in particular, fish processing enterprises that export up to 20% of their produce to Russia, begin to search for other markets, says Straujuma.

“Therefore, it is not ruled out that our industry will have to retarget its exports not over sanctions, but simply because we find ourselves in such an economic situation,” she said.

In the event of escalation of tensions around Ukraine, the European Union might impose sanctions against Russia, she said, adding that these would be economic sanctions embracing four sectors - arms trade, energy, trade and finances.

“Our government has already considered concrete risks for our economy. I spoke of these risks at the Council of the European Union,” Straujuma said. “Energy is the most difficult issue for us. If sanctions are imposed, we, possibly, will need the EU support.”

On March 18, Russia signed the agreement on the accession of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, what caused retaliatory sanctions from the United States and the European Union.

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