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Ceturtdiena 20.02.2020 | Name days: Smuidra, Vitauts, Smuidris
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Ministry: everyone, including Riga City Council, must comply with sanction regime

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUEveryone, including Riga City Council, that cooperate with Giprostrojmost, which is included on EU and US sanction lists, must comply with the sanction regime, Latvian Foreign Affairs Ministry explains.

The ministry notes that as sanctions come to force against some person or company, Latvian banks cease all transactions with the subject of sanctions. With that, no contracts that include transactions with the subject of sanctions will be possible to complete through Latvian banks once sanctions come to force.

EU sanctions are imposed in accordance with EU regulations, which are legally binding in Latvia, Foreign Affairs Ministry explains. 31 July 2018 marked the coming into force of EU regulation that established sanctions for actions that resulted in the undermining of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence. Sanctions detailed in the regulation were also imposed against Institut Giprostroimost-Sankt-Peterburg.

Foreign Affairs Ministry points that sanctions are legally binding for Latvia. In accordance with Part two of Section 2 of the Law on International Sanctions and National Sanctions of the Republic of Latvia make it a duty for private and legal person to comply with EU sanctions. With that, it is illegal for businesses to directly or indirectly make finances or economic resources accessible to companies under sanctions. The Criminal Law provides criminal liability for non-compliance with EU and other international sanctions.

On 26 June, Latvian Foreign Affairs Ministry sent a letter to Riga City Council, asking to review cooperation with Institut Giprostroimost-Sankt-Peterburg subsidiary Giprostroimost. At the time when the letter was sent to Riga City Council, the aforementioned company was not yet part of the EU sanction list. However, it was added to US Office of Foreign Assets Control on 1 September 2016. Because of that, the ministry informed Riga City Council of the major risks to be taken into account in relation to sanctions imposed by USA.

In the letter addressed to the city council, the ministry also referenced Saeima’s amendments to the Law on International Sanctions and National Sanctions of the Republic of Latvia approved on 21 June 2018. Among other things, these sanctions provide a duty to include defence mechanisms in contracts for cases when it is not possible to implement procurements because of international sanctions, adding an option to one-sidedly exit from a contract due to sanctions.

«Because it is not possible to one-sidedly amend already active contracts, the transition rules detailed in the law state that it is not necessary to amend active contracts. The regulation that make it a duty to check if public procurement candidates or contenders are applied with any sanctions provides the right to one-sidedly exit contracts if there is a possibility of sanctions impeding implementation of the contract is not applicable for procurement procedures launched before the regulation came to force,» the ministry explains.

At the same time, the ministry explains that the sanction law or the transition rules do not provide any option to avoid complying with sanctions if the contract with the company under sanctions was signed before international sanctions were applied.


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