Latvia bans imports of Russian, Belarusian agricultural products

The Latvian parliament, the Saeima, has endorsed amendments to the legislation on agriculture and rural development to ban imports of agricultural produce from Russia and Belarus.

The amendments, which were drawn up by several Latvian government ministries, stipulate that imports of agricultural products and feedstuffs originating from Russia and Belarus to Latvia shall be banned also from third countries.

The ban will remain in effect until July 1, 2025 and can be extended if necessary.

Comments to the amendments say that, as a country bordering Russia, Latvia is seeking “to break up economic ties with it as soon as possible in order to protect its security” and that “Latvia’s initiative is an element complementing the European Union’s common sanctions policy.”

The Latvian government is supposed to endorse rules listing particular agricultural products and feedstuffs whose imports to the country would be prohibited.

According to the Latvian State Revenue Service, imports of grain products from Russia in 2023 amounted to 423,732 tonnes, up 59.9% from 2022. They were worth EUR89.008 million (up 11.7%). This amount included 294,844 tonnes of corn, 53,243 tonnes of rye, 74,640 tonnes of wheat, and wheat and rye mix, 986 tonnes of triticale, and 20 tonnes of barley.

Compared to 2022, imports of corn doubled and rye increased by 61.5%, while imports of wheat and wheat and rye mix declined by 10.2% and those of triticale declined by 87.9%. No barley was imported to Latvia in 2022.

Russia shipped 2.137 million tonnes of grain across Latvia in transit in 2023, which was 2.2 times more than in 2022. This amount included 1.68 million tonnes of wheat, and wheat and rye mix (up more than twice), 289,168 tonnes of corn (up 87%), 109,609 tonnes of barley (up 730 times), 51,067 tonnes of rye (up 27%), 4,330 tonnes of triticale (down 72.7%), 2,136 tonnes of oats (up 10 times), 878 tonnes of rice (down 30%), and 157 tonnes of sorghum (up 2%).


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