Latvian Companies' Exports to Russia Increased Despite Sanctions

Monday, 28 August 2023

Latvian companies exported goods to Russia more during the first half of 2023, despite sanctions, compared to the first half of 2022.

As reported by LSM, citing Latvijas Televīzija, a published list from Latvia's Central Statistical Bureau includes 169 exporters to Russia and 94 to Belarus, who supplied goods to these countries totaling €560 million in the first half of 2023.

Pharmaceutical company Grindex, which exports to Belarus, stands out with the highest turnover on the list. One of the largest Latvian companies exporting to Russia is its subsidiary, Kalceks.

In its report for 2022, the conglomerate stated that it earned over €70 million from sales in the Russian market, which accounts for a quarter of its turnover. Another major Latvian pharmaceutical company, Olainfarm, which also exports to Russia, refers to international human rights.

"Therefore, medicines and medical products are not included in the sanction lists of either the European Union or other Western countries, and no restrictions on these product groups are currently planned," the company's statement says.

A Latvian distributor of alcohol brands from Pernod Ricard Eastern Europe Operations continues to export to Belarus, even though in April 2023, it announced the cessation of business relations with Russia.

Previously, it was reported that Latvia's Central Statistical Bureau published a list of companies that continue to trade with Russia and Belarus amid Russia's war against Ukraine.

It is noted that Minister of Economics Ilze Indriksone instructed the bureau to publish this list, although the ministry had previously resisted its publication, citing commercial secrecy.

Investigations by the Russian non-state project Verstka claimed that nearly all sanctioned goods continue to enter Russia, amounting to billions of dollars.

The EU sanctions package in July aimed to close loopholes in the existing sanctions against Russia and to combat their circumvention through third countries.

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