Rinkēvičs: Europe must do everything to not depend on Russian energy

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Following the introduction of the first sanctions against Russia in the context of its invasion of Ukraine, it appears that the European Union (EU) is not prepared for energy independence, but this does not mean that sanctions should be suspended, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs said in an interview to Latvian Radio on July 21.

The Minister said that the decisions taken very quickly at the EU level on the imposition of sanctions on Russia showed that the EU was not prepared regarding energy issues.

“It's energy that takes longer and where, unfortunately, Russia is able to dictate its rules for some time. But this does not mean that we must stop, we must simply continue to do everything that Europe, so that Latvia does not depend on Russian energy, so that money does not come to Russia and that we can build our own economies on other grounds,” said Rinkēvičs.

He said he didn't expect major impact of sanctions on the war in Ukraine because it wasn't the target of sanctions. Sanctions against Russia are needed to influence the Russian economy and the “military machine” in the medium and long term to prevent potential military attacks in the future.

It is therefore important for Western countries to continue to provide Ukraine with arms and to introduce increasingly new sanctions against Russia. The latest sanctions against Russia were approved by the EU on Wednesday, which, among other things, prohibits Russian gold imports and freezes the assets of Russia's largest bank, Sberbank.

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