Latviski English По-русски
Tuesday 07.04.2020 | Name days: Helmuts, Zina, Zinaīda

Latvia is doing everything to avoid getting grey-listed, says Kazāks

(No Ratings Yet)

Latvia, economy, money laundering, FATF, Moneyval

Bank of Latvia governor Mārtiņš Kazāks

Latvia is doing all it can to avoid a possible negative scenario, when Financial Action Task Force (FATF) may include Latvia on a list of countries found to have strategic problems with money laundering and terrorism financing prevention, otherwise known as the grey list, LETA was told by Bank of Latvia governor Mārtiņš Kazāks.

«Currently Latvia is doing the right thing by focusing on the first scenario – when our country is not added to the list. Latvia does the right thing to avoid the negative scenario. This means not only changes but also explaining them very clearly to partners. This is very important,» says Kazāks.

At the same time, if Latvia is added to the grey list, the finance sector’s ability to support the economy through crediting will be weak. «The finance sector will not be able to enhance Latvia’s economy,» stresses the Bank of Latvia governor.

He said a lot has been done lately in relation to legislation. Changes to legislative acts are very wide; it is rare to find a country that has done something similar.

«It is good to adopt laws, but the question is about is maintaining these laws. This is a very important topic. This does not apply exclusively to the finance sector – it is applicable to the entire economy. The finance sector is simply in the foreground. But this also applies to many different factors – notaries, real estate traders, etc. Origin of money is a very important topic,» said Kazāks.

Read also: IMF: Being slow in combating financial crimes could push Latvia to «grey list»

He also said the topic regarding US Department of the Treasury Office for Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) sanctions against Aivars Lembergs and organizations with ties to him is a good indicator that proves how capable Latvia as a state and its institutions are in resolving this problem.

«We observed lightning-fast and energetic government action, which helped exclude Ventspils Freeport from the list of sanctions,» says Kazāks.

«At the same time, we have to understand that neither Moneyval report nor FATF report expected this February on the decision to add or not to add Latvia to the grey list will put an end to this situation.»

«Money laundering is a matter of everyday hygiene. It will not go away and these assessments are only intermediate stages,» says the governor of the central bank, adding that this is done for Latvia, not anyone else.

«We are doing this for ourselves, because all these problems are an anchor around Latvia’s ankle. It will be better for all of us if we learn to resolve these problems, manage risks and avoid making the mistakes from previous years. If we want Latvia’s economy to grow, we have to get rid of the risks related to money laundering, sanctions and corruption,» says Kazāks.

He also denied the assumption that the recent scandals about money laundering in Latvia, Estonia and Scandinavia could mean there are special problems in this region. This is not a problem typical for just Latvia, Baltic States and Scandinavia. It is simply that our region is one of the first to go through this process. The same awaits other regions.

«Because money laundering is a global problem, we need global solutions. It cannot be resolved on a national level, otherwise money launderers will simply move to another country. This is why I support the initiative from these six countries, including Latvia, to look at money laundering problems regionally and form an institution that would look at these problems on a level of Eurozone and the European Union. A global problem cannot be resolved locally,» says Kazāks.

Leave a reply

Spanish coronavirus death toll drops for fourth day in a row

In Spain, for the fourth day a row, the number of COVID-19 related deaths per day has decreased as the country has the most confirmed cases in infection in Europa, BBC reports.

Recovery from COVID-19 confirmed for 16 people in Latvia

So far 16 people in Latvia have made a successful recovery from COVID-19, as reported by Latvian Disease Prevention and Monitoring Centre (SPKC) Infectious Diseases Risk Analysis and Prevention Department director Jurijs Perevoščikovs at a press-conference on Monday, 6 April.

Kilometre-long freight train from China to pass through Latvia this week

This week a freight train pulling 100 containers forming a kilometre-long chain will pass through Latvia on its way from China to Kaliningrad Oblast, as BNN was told by Latvian Railway.

Design work commences across the entire Rail Baltica route in Latvia

Rail Baltica project management joint company RB Rail has signed two contracts on behalf of Latvia’s Transport Ministry for design and design supervision services on the remaining sections of Rail Baltica route in Latvia, as BNN was informed by the company.

Meduza: Head of Russian doctors’ organisation arrested during delivery of protective equipment to hospitals

The chairwoman of the Russian Doctors’ Alliance has been hit after being arrested by police as she was in a group of activists trying to deliver personal protection equipment to hospitals in the Novgorod region of Russia, Meduza news portal reports.

NEPLP wants 1.6 million euros for media to overcome COVID-19 crisis in Latvia

The National Electronic Mass Media Council has prepared historically the largest state support programme for electronic TV and radio to ensure uninterrupted production of domestic content and broadcasts during COVID-19 crisis. The volume of support is estimated at 1.6 million euros, as reported by NEPLP.

Estonian top virologist: Peak of COVID-19 will be flattened out

Estonian virologist Irja Lutsar, who is part of the Estonian government’s working group of COVID-19 has forecast that the peak point of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Estonia will be long, Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports.

COVID-19 infection numbers in Baltics. 542 in Latvia, 843 in Lithuania and 1 108 in Estonia

The number of confirmed COVID-19 infection cases in Latvia has reached 542, increasing by nine new cases in a day. Lithuanian media, meanwhile, report 843 coronavirus infection cases.

Kazāks: the virus causes Latvia’s economy to drop 2-3 percentage points every month

Because of restrictions adopted to restrict the spread of COVID-19 in the country, Latvia’s economy drops 2-3 percentage points every month, said governor of the Bank of Latvia Mārtiņš Kazāks in an interview to Latvijas Radio on 6 April.

British Prime Minister hospitalised 10 days into coronavirus infection

In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital ten days after receiving positive tests for COVID-19, British public broadcaster BBC reports.

Universities in Latvia have no plans for entry exams if central exams are cancelled

If central exams in Latvia are cancelled, universities have no plans to organize entry exams, because this would require additional resources.

Number of COVID-19 infections increase in the 50 to 59 age group in Latvia

The number of COVID-19 infections in the 50 to 59 age group has nearly doubled in the past week, reaching 83 cases, according to the latest data from the Disease Prevention and Monitoring Centre.

Greece introduces quarantine in two migrant centres

Authorities in Greece have introduced the restrictions of a lockdown in two migrant centres after people tested positive for COVID-19, German public broadcaster DW reports.

COVID-19 update in Baltics. 533 infections in Latvia, 811 in Lithuania, 1 097 in Estonia

The number of confirmed COVID-19 infection cases in Latvia has reached 533 so far, increasing by 24 new cases in one day. Lithuania, meanwhile, reports 811 confirmed cases.

Week in Lithuania: ex-President lands UN job, car entry from Belarus and Russia banned, medics’ salaries go up

Last week, the top news stories in Lithuania were, ex-President Dalia Grybauskaitė receiving a post in the UN, cars from Belarus and Russia being banned and Conservatives’ leader urged to expel Orban’s Fidesz from EPP.

BNN summary of the week: a new economy minister. Lagging budget plan. Radzevičs’s negligence?

BNN gives you a summary of the key events of the past week, told in news stories of the following topics: song and dance next year; post; debt write-off; new minister; decline and unacceptable numbers.

Coronavirus in Baltics. 509 in Latvia, 771 in Lithuania, 1 018 in Estonia

The number of confirmed coronavirus COVID-19 infections in Latvia has reached 509, increasing by 16 new cases over the last day. Lithuania, meanwhile, reports 771 infections

airBaltic to cancel up to 50% of planned flights until November 2020

As the crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic continues in Latvia, the country’s national airline airBaltic has decided to cancel nearly 50% of planned flights until November 2020, as reported by the airline’s representative Alise Briede.

Latvian government increases penalty for breach of COVID-19 restrictions

On Thursday, 3 April, Latvia’s Saeima approved amendments to the Latvian Code of Administrative Violations in the final reading. The new changes increase the fine for violation of epidemiological security requirements, as well as restrictions imposed for the duration of the state of emergency in the country.

Estonian government to help local governments with supplementary budget

The Estonian government has submitted to legislators a supplementary budget aimed at allocating to local governments 30 million euros and another 100 million to help continue economic activity in the country, Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports.

Home. Soap. Two metres – SPKC reminds residents of the main safety measures

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads through direct contact with an infected person through droplets when a person sneezes of coughs, or by touching surfaces the infected person had previously sneezed or coughed on.

Belarus rejects Lithuania’s worries about alleged hiding of COVID-19 data

Minsk has rejected the concern voiced by Lithuania that alleged inadequate reaction to the spread of COVID-19 in Belarus could turn the country into a hotspot, which endangers Lithuania, LRT reports.

COVID-19 pandemic and corruption risks. How can government and society defend against them?

During a state of emergency, it is important for the Saeima, Cabinet of Ministers, Crisis Management Council and other officials to make decisions quickly and ensure completion. However, in such a situation there is a risk of dishonest officials abusing their powers for personal gain, risking the quality of democracy.

First death from COVID-19 confirmed in Latvia

The first death from COVID-19 coronavirus has been found in Latvia, as reported by public media

UN General Assembly calls for closer cooperation to contain pandemic

World’s nations in the UN General Assembly have unanimously passed a resolution confirming the unprecedented effects of COVID-19 and calling countries for increased cooperation, Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera reports.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!