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Sunday 04.10.2015 | Name days: Modra, Francis

Minister: Russia responds to sanctions with propaganda about «bad times»

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUFollowing the introduction of sanctions, active propaganda activity was launched in Latvia. This activity has begun spreading misleading information and concerns about «bad times», says Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.

In his interview to Rīta Panorāma programme of LTV, Rinkēvičs claimed that if sanctions against Russia are not strengthened and the conflict in Ukraine escalates to the level of a full-blown war, regional economy can suffer even more. «If the current situation escalates into a full-blown war, there will be many refugees seeking asylum and the regional economy will be damaged badly. Consequences of this may turn out even worse,» – says the minister.

The minister also denies claims that sanctions against Russia will not benefit Latvia in any way and will only harm the country’s economy. He also said the talks about impact on Latvia’s economy are exaggerated. «There is no direct impact on Latvia’s economy […] However, we need to keep in mind that there may be responses to sanctions [from Russia]. We need to keep in mind that there may be different campaigns [against sanctions] in Latvia, that will likely say something like “bad, everything will be bad”,» – said Rinkevics, noting that he has noticed some signs of this.

At the same time, the minister encouraged residents not to over-dramatize the situation, because a lot is being said about potential impact on Latvia’s economy. He also believes that talks about how much sanctions are likely to backfire on the EU, as opposed to having an effect on Russia, is nothing more than empty claims. The minister explained that the belief that EU economy will be impacted is generally cultivated by Russian media, who are not allowed to critically view processes that transpire in their country. This is why they are practically forced to claim sanctions will backfire on the EU.

The minister also said that Latvia and the EU now have an opportunity to reduce their energy dependence on Russia.

Latvian Economy Minister Vyacheslav Dombrovskis has noted in his interview to Rīta Panorāma programme that international sanctions against Russia and Russia’s potential sanctions against Latvia could reduce Latvia’s GDP by 10%. And this is the most pessimistic outlook.

He added that if both sides continue to introduce sanctions against one another, ‘effects of those sanctions will be rather disastrous’. The minister did say that there will be no effect similar to the crisis of 2009. Nevertheless, he added, the potential crisis may still be very serious.

Dombrovskis added that exports of Latvian goods to Russia had declined by 17%-18% this May. The most potentially vulnerable industries in this regard are transit and food production.


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  1. mike walsh says:

    Read that again: Have you ever seen a better example of a politician hedging his bets and resorting to gobbledygook so that later he can cherry-pick through this masterful disingenuous playing both sides of the same coin. The peasants will be bewildered but the emperor’s clothes sure look natty.

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  2. mike walsh says:

    “According to preliminary estimates, these sanctions may cost the bloc up to $133 billion in trade. Volker Treier, the head of German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), said earlier that restrictions on trade with Russia have already hit one in four German export companies, with the country’s Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations predicting a loss of 350,000 jobs.

    “To make matters worse for Brussels, Russia supplies about 30 percent of Europe’s gas. Earlier today, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned that stiffer penalties against Russia’s energy sector will drive up European energy prices and hurt the bloc no less than Russia.”

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    • HJ says:

      Some peoples are prepared to suffer for their principals.

      Let’s see how long Russian people will be prepared to suffer for Mr Putins principles!

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