An agreement on the transportation of military cargo from Belarus through Latvian ports was signed even before the republic joined the EU and NATO. Against the backdrop of the military operation in Ukraine, Riga is reviewing relations with Moscow and Minsk alt=”Latvia terminated the agreement with Belarus on the transportation of military cargo” />
The Ministry of Transport of Latvia terminated the agreement with Belarus on the transportation of military cargo from this republic to third countries through Latvian ports. This was reported on the agency's website.
They noted that the agreement was signed by the government in January 1994, when Latvia had not yet joined the European Union. The Republic became a member of the EU on May 1, 2004, and on March 29 of the same year— a member of NATO.
“In this regard, Latvia is bound by the legal norms of these international organizations, and the agreement with Belarus does not apply to these norms”,— The Ministry of Transport said in a statement.
After the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, the Latvian authorities are reviewing relations with Moscow and Minsk, the ministry noted.
In the spring of last year, Belarus began to reorient trade flows from the Baltic ports to Russian ones. The country shipped the first batches of oil products— gasoline and fuel oil— to Russian ports. Gasoline will be transshipped through the Portenergo terminal in the port of Ust-Luga, fuel oil— through the Petersburg oil terminal in the port of St. Petersburg. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko announced a possible reorientation of cargo flows from the Baltic ports back in 2020, after the expansion of sanctions against Minsk. In February last year, Russia and Belarus signed an intergovernmental agreement on transshipment of Belarusian oil products for export through Russian ports. The country will be able to transship more than 9.8 million tons of oil products in 2021-2023.
At the end of March, the Latvian authorities announced plans to close their ports to Russian ships. According to the Minister of Transport of the country, Talis Linkaits, in this case, with a pessimistic forecast, the cargo turnover in the port of Ventspils will be reduced by two thirds, in Riga— by 45%, in Liepaja— by 20–30%.
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In early April, the European Union imposed new sanctions against Russia due to the military operation in Ukraine. In particular, the restrictive measures include a ban on Russian-flagged ships from entering EU ports. In addition, Brussels restricted the entry of trucks with Russian and Belarusian license plates.
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