More Latvian stores join Russia and Belarus product boycott

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Following the news that the Maxima and Rimi supermarket chains would be removing Russian products from their shelves, more retailers have announced similar measures.

The medium-sized Top! and Elvi grocery stores, which have a widespread presence in Latvia's regions have followed suit, as has the chain of Narvesen convenience stores which will stop stocking Russian newspapers and magazines from Monday, February 28.

Dace Zīle, Head of the Analytical Service of the Ministry of Economics, pointed out that the food industry is the fifth largest importer from Russia.

"But that size is relatively small, because we import 626 million euros' worth of mineral products from Russia, but 55 million euros is food. Last year, we mainly imported 21 million euros' worth of vodka from Russia and various foods that do not contain milk fat, sucrose, glucose, starch, worth 3.8 million euros," she explained.

Jānis Endziņš, Chairman of the Board of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, assessed that the amount of food imported from Russia does not have a significant impact on Latvia, but the share of production raw materials supplied to various Latvian companies from Russia, such as metal or wood is significant.

Other companies, such as the "Latvijas finieris" wood product and laminate producer, have also announced the termination of cooperation with Russia and Belarus. Uldis Biķis, the chairman of the company's council, calls it a self-evident choice.

He told Latvian Television: "In the end, there is war. People are dying. The infrastructure of housing is being destroyed. In our opinion, it is simply cynical to talk about money. [We are] joining hands [with Ukraine], even without being soldiers."

We believe in "Latvian veneer" that we will get something much more valuable than the money we can earn together by buying resources from Russia or Belarus, because this unity is what will help us and give us strength in the long run. "


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