Investigating sexual violence as war crimes — "He Came Back"
Our War Crimes Investigations Unit released its new documentary, “He Came Back”. The film is about two cases of sexual violence committed by Russian soldiers during the occupation of Kherson and Kyiv oblasts in 2022 — and the process of identifying the offenders. Watch it on our YouTube channel.
Skip to content
Edit post

Latvian president supports ban on Russian grain imports

by Elsa Court January 25, 2024 11:27 AM 2 min read
President of the Republic of Latvia, Edgars Rinkevics, speaks during a joint briefing with President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, in Kyiv, on Nov. 24, 2024. (Photo by Ukrinform/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics said at a press conference on Jan. 24 that he would support a ban on the import of Russian grain "both for political and economic reasons."

Russian agricultural products are not sanctioned by the European Union, partly because some EU countries transit the grain to other parts of the world, and the EU fears that a ban would make it more difficult for poorer countries to access food.  

Rinkevics argued that Russian grain imports support the Russian economy, and therefore its army, and may also impact the livelihoods of Latvian farmers.

Moreover, what is labeled as Russian grain may in fact be Ukrainian grain stolen from Russian-occupied territories, Rinkevics said.

Data on the volume of Russian grain arriving in the Baltic nations of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia is currently being clarified, according to Rinkevics. Trade volumes are difficult to ascertain due to part of the grain transiting to non-EU countries.

A Latvian official said in December that over 380,000 metric tons of Russian grain had been imported into the European Union through Latvia in 2023, an increase of about 80,000 tons of grain compared to 2022.

This figure does not include the grain transported from Russia to non-EU countries via Latvia.

News emerged in October 2023 that Latvia had become the EU's top importer of Russian corn, with Russian corn imports increasing by 63% compared to 2022, according to Latvia's Agriculture Ministry.  In the first seven months of 2023, 82% of the corn imported to Latvia came from Russia.

Rinkevics said Latvia imported Russian agricultural products worth 280 million euros ($305 million), far outstripping the 34 million euros ($37 million) worth imported by Estonia, and 123 million euros ($134 million) worth imported by Lithuania.

Latvian Prime Minister Evika Silina said on Jan. 24 that Lithuania and Estonia support Latvia's efforts to ban Russian grain but argued that the ban must gain support at a European level.

Unilateral restrictions would be a "ban on paper" and not in reality since the grain would enter Latvia from other EU countries, Silina argued.

Presidential Advisor Martins Dregeris said later on Jan. 24 that Rinkevics would support a ban in Latvia "without waiting for a joint decision by the European Union."

Ukraine is third largest agricultural supplier to EU
Ukraine remains among the top three suppliers of agricultural products to the EU, even though the exports dropped to an almost pre-invasion level in autumn 2023, the European Commission’s report said.
Before you skip this banner, we want to tell you something…

The Kyiv Independent doesn’t depend on a wealthy owner or an oligarch — in 2023, 80% of our revenue was from reader contributions . It’s thanks to them that we don’t have to rely on a single owner.

Support us now and help maintain our independent model and keep our articles free for everyone. Your contributions allow us to cover journalists’ salaries, report from the front lines, and fund projects like our War Crimes Investigations Unit.

visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
12:54 AM

Germany blocks sanctions on Russian gas.

European Union countries failed to approve a new sanctions package targeting the Russian gas industry after German authorities intervened to block the deal at the last minute.
4:11 PM

Putin names ceasefire demands, including Kyiv's complete withdrawal from four Ukrainian regions.

Speaking on the eve of the global peace summit in Switzerland on June 15-16, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Ukrainian troops must leave Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, and Kyiv must abandon any ambition to join NATO. Russia doesn't aim for peace, but for the continuation of the war, the occupation of Ukraine, and the destruction of Ukrainian people, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry wrote in a statement.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.