Latvia: President backs unilateral ban on Russian grain imports

Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics backed a unilateral ban on Russian grain imports without waiting for a joint EU decision, LETA reported. Speaking after a meeting with Prime Minister Evika Silina, Rinkevics pointed out that some of the Russian grain was stolen from occupied Ukrainian territory and that Russia was using food as a “hybrid weapon.” Also, many EU member states did not wish to sanction trade with Russia in agricultural products, so it was difficult to include a ban on grain imports to the EU sanctions list, he noted. The Latvian parliament, the Saeima, is due to discuss National Alliance’s proposal to ban the import of agricultural products from Russia and Belarus, LSM reports. Meanwhile, Latvian NGO Rising Sun (Austosa Saule) held a protest against the import and transit of Russian goods outside the government building in Riga. Latvia imported Russian products for an estimated EUR 280mn in 2023.