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Monday 20.01.2020 | Name days: Aļģirds, Orests, Oļģerts, Alģis
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Aivars Lembergs leaves Ventspils Freeport board

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Aivars Lembergs, sanctions, USA, OFAC, Ventspils Freeport, topical, corruptionAivars Lembergs, who has been added by USA to its black list, has decided to leave his post at Ventspils Freeport board, according to his update on Twitter.

«To avoid disrupting Ventspils Freeport’s operations and its competitiveness, I have decided to leave its board. I have asked Ventspils City Council to appoint a replacement board member in my stead until the situation has been clear up,» he wrote on Twitter.

Currently it is unknown who could take Lembergs’ place.

BNN had previously reported that Latvia’s Finance Ministry’s representative to Ventspils Freeport Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis asked Lembergs to step down as chairman of Ventspils Freeport board in response to US sanctions.

Kristovskis said in his statement addressed to Ventspils Freeport board members and Lembergs: «Considering that Riga Regional Court’s security restrictions applied to you [Lembergs] – the prohibition to perform duties as chairman of Ventspils Freeport – have been in force for years, and that the US Department of Treasury Office for Foreign Asset Control has added you to the global list of Magnitsky sanctions, which has resulted in limitations for Ventspils Freeport authority’s properties and Ventspils port’s operations, which makes the port’s commercial companies operations more difficult in already difficult geopolitical conditions, I invite you to take a step worthy of an honest politician and step down as chairman of Ventspils Freeport board.»

Kristovskis stressed to Lembergs: «Now is the time when it is necessary to serve the interests of Ventspils residents, the Latvian state and society».

According to him, Lembergs’ immediate stepping down from his post in Ventspils Freeport will serve as a signal to US OFAC and the partners of Ventspils Freeport’s active entrepreneurs around the world and that Ventspils Freeport is able to continue operations and prevent the risks that have surfaced as a result of OFAC sanctions against Lembergs.

On Monday, 9 December, US Department of Treasury Office for Foreign Asset Control, based on the so-called Magnitsky law, established sanctions against a number of private persons and their organizations in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Aivars Lembergs is among those people.

The Magnitsky Law was signed by then the US President Barack Obama on 14 December 2012. It allows US authorities to arrest assets owned by people accused of violating human rights and suspected of corruption, as well as deny them entry to USA.

«Corruption has undermined the Latvian economy for years, robbing the Latvian people of funds for public services, and empowering illicit actors to harm the security of the Latvian state and the NATO Alliance,» the statement mentions.

The statement also stresses that USA has cooperated with Latvia’s government in efforts to prevent corruption.

BNN had previously reported that Finance Ministry’s representative to Ventspils Freeport board Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis has invited Aivars Lembergs to immediately step down as chairman of Ventspils Freeport.


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  1. Mmmhmm says:

    So Ventspils Freeport will miraculously chose Meroni to its board and Anrijs Lembergs as a backup.

    The General Prosecutor needs to prosecute cases against people, not let them set timetables, number of lawyers and when and if judges can sit. If the defendant is ill and has lawyer, you carry on without them.

    If lawyer is ill, you give them a few days. You do not recess for months.

  2. Sksida says:

    So now America will dictate Latvia’s politics? GTFO of my country.

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