"One of the most important reasons for denouncing the agreement is moral – cooperating with Russia, which is an aggressor state, is immoral. In this respect, principle must prevail over convenience. If it does not, we cannot talk about the existence of any principles at all," said Rihards Kols (National alliance), chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima, on Wednesday.
At the meeting, the commission conceptually supported the draft law with which it is planned to suspend the Latvian-Russian agreement on legal assistance and legal relations in civil, family and criminal matters.
"This agreement was concluded to promote cooperation in the field of legal assistance. Like many other bilateral agreements, it is based on mutual trust and confidence. Russia has lost [our] confidence and has proven that it cannot be relied upon. By renouncing this agreement, we clearly say: there is no trust," emphasized Kols.
The agreement between Latvia and Russia on legal assistance and legal relations in civil, family and criminal matters was ratified on June 1, 1993. This has long ceased to correspond to today's times and contradicts the obligations that Latvia took upon joining the European Union, which recommends abandoning this type of agreement, explained the chairman of the commission.
If the Saeima decides to renounce the agreement, it will continue to operate for another six months from the date of entry into force of the relevant law. Legal cooperation will then take place on the basis of internationally binding documents, such as the Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and the Hague Convention in Civil Matters.
Taking into account Russia's military activities in Ukraine and the sanctions directed against Russia by the international community, the Foreign Affairs Commission previously invited the line ministries to evaluate the relevance of bilateral agreements between Latvia and Russia to the geopolitical situation and decided to suspend or denounce the operation of several bilateral agreements or some of their articles.