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Wednesday 22.01.2020 | Name days: Austris
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Kristovskis: Lembergs should immediately step down from Ventspils Freeport board

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USA, Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis, Aivars Lembergs, Ventspils Freeport, sanctions, OFAC

Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis

Aivars Lembergs’ addition to the Magnitsky list of sanctions requires him to immediately step down from his post as chairman of Ventspils Freeport board, stresses Latvian Finance Ministry’s representative to Ventspils Freeport board Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis.

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.

The Law on Ports does not allow dismissing Lembergs from his post in the freeport’s board with a simple majority of votes, says Kristovskis.

The law was composed in Lembergs’ interests and requires a vote from at least five Ventspils Freeport board members, which is not something that can be done with four state representatives, says Kristovskis.

«Unfortunately, none of my countless previous requests to have Ventspils Freeport board comply with the court’s sanctions against Lembergs taking office as chairman of the freeport’s board have been given much thought until now. The consequences of such behaviour from Ventspils Freeport are looking to be dramatic on a national scale in Latvia and internationally. Such a situation requires political responsibility for Lembergs’ behaviour – immediate stepping down as chairman of Ventspils Freeport board.»

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.


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