Latvia issues Crimea reminder

Take note – story published 5 years ago

Latvia's government on March 16 issued a reminder that four years on from Russia's illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region, nothing has changed as fr as recognition of the aggression is concerned. 

"Four years will have passed on 18 March 2014 since the violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity committed by the Russian Federation, which illegally annexed the Crimean Peninsula and launched military aggression in the east of Ukraine. By its actions, the Russian Federation has violated international law and basic principles of relations between countries," the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement marking the anniversary.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it reiterated Latvia's "principled position on the issues of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine" and furthermore condemned the Russian Federation’s "aggression in the east of Ukraine and stands up for maintaining EU sanctions till the full implementation of the Minsk agreements."

In line with the policy of non-recognition of the annexation of Crimea, Latvia added that it does not recognize the holding of the Russian presidential election in Crimea and Sevastopol on 18 March.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on Latvian citizens to pay attention to travel restrictions imposed by Ukraine in the Crimean Peninsula annexed by the Russian Federation.

"In accordance with Ukrainian legislation currently in force, entry into the parts of Ukrainian territory that have been illegally annexed by the Russian Federation is allowed only via Ukrainian-controlled checkpoints in the cases specified in Ukrainian legislation, and by official permission granted by Ukrainian authorities following a procedure prescribed by law. Persons guilty of violating those rules could be held liable, even criminally prosecuted, and be banned from entering the Ukrainian territory in future.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on the residents of Latvia not to take part in sports, cultural, entertainment and other events organised by the Russian Federation in Crimea – an illegally annexed Ukrainian territory.

"The participation of Latvian citizens, and the use of the name and symbols of Latvia in such events is inconsistent with the foreign policy position of Latvia and is unacceptable. Those people are not official representatives of Latvia and do not express Latvia’s position," the Ministry said.

Consequently there are only "very limited possibilities for offering consular assistance in emergency situations" to Latvians who might wind up in the occupied territories for whatever reason, the Ministry added.

Under the sanctions imposed by the EU against the Russian Federation, it is forbidden to provide and use organised tourism services in the territory of the illegally annexed Crimea and it is forbidden to purchase real estate or companies, as well to carry out any kind of financial transactions in Crimea, it  said, warning that "The violation of sanctions imposed by the EU will be prosecuted under Section 84 of the Criminal Law of the Republic of Latvia."


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