Latvia shouldn't be on Ukraine's list of tax havens, says Finance Ministry

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Ukraine's recent decision to include Latvia in its list of tax havens is unfounded, the Latvian Finance Ministry said January 19.

"In Latvia's opinion, inclusion in the list is unsubstantiated because none of the publicly known criteria for putting a country on the list applies in our case," said the Finance Ministry spokesman Aleksis Jarockis.

The Finance Ministry and the Foreign Ministry are working actively to get Latvia removed from Ukraine's list of tax havens in order to avoid negative effects that the label of a tax haven would have on Latvia's economic cooperation and businesses.

"Latvia and Ukraine signed a bilateral tax convention in 1995 and both countries have acceded to the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters therefore there is an appropriate international mechanism for information exchange for tax purposes," Jarockis said.

The Latvian Finance Ministry voiced hope for a quick response from Ukraine in revising its decision based on the information supplied by Latvia.

As reported earlier, Latvia has joined Estonia in being added to a list of countries given special scrutiny by Ukrainian financial authorities because of their links with potential tax evasion schemes.

Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser said that Estonia was put on Ukraine's list of tax havens by mistake and the Estonian Foreign Ministry was working to resolve the situation.

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