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Yakunin and Russian Railways not included on EU list of sanctions due to Latvia's objections

BC, Riga, 15.09.2014.Print version
Due to objections from Latvian politicians and diplomats, the Russian company "Russian Railways" and its leader Vladimir Yakunin, a long-time ally of President Vladimir Putin, have still not been included on the European Union's (EU) list of sanctions, the TV3 show Neka personiga reported on Sunda, cites LETA.

According to "Neka personiga", Yakunin was included on the United States' list of sanctions already in the spring, while the European Union still has not done it.


Transport officials confirmed that Latvia is not interested in the inclusion of Russian transport industry leaders in the list of sanctions.


"This is not for the record, but I can say that we will definitely not support sanctions against "Russian Railways", as it is our main partner in transport traffic via Latvian railroads and ports. If "Russian Railways" or any of its officials are included on the list of sanctions, we will be unable to continue our business, which means that our freight volumes will significantly reduce. It is in Latvia's interest that "Russian Railways" be excluded from EU's list of sanctions," Transport Minister Anrijs Matiss (Unity) told "Neka personiga".


According to Matiss, economically beneficial relations are the main criterion for such a decision.


"I can confirm that in evaluating various retaliatory steps against Russia, our government has always maintained, not just now but ever since February, that the transport field must be left outside these sanctions," the ministry's spokesman Andrejs Pildegovics said.


"Neka personiga" reports that freight transit makes up 12% of Latvia's gross domestic product, while the turnover reaches about EUR 1 billion a year. Comparing Latvia to other region countries, the majority of rail freight here comes from Russia.


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