The Belarusian ambassador to Riga again threatened to reorient cargo flows.
Alyaksandr Herasimenka expressed his regret that Latvia joined the EU sanctions and hinted the move could endanger Minsk-Riga cooperation in strategic directions, including the transit business, Reitingi,lv website reports.
The Belarusian Embassy in Latvia held a number of meetings with representatives of the Riga Duma, Riga Business Club and other representatives of the Latvian business community.
“We regret that Latvia has joined the anti-Belarusian sanctions of the European Union, because such a step cannot be viewed as readiness of your country's political leaders for partnership with Belarus in strategic directions, including the transit business,” Alyaksandr Herasimenka said.
However, Belarus still refrains from diverting freight traffic from Latvia's sea ports. According to the ambassador, this step may confirm Belarus's serious intentions to secure traffic flows to Latvia and in the reverse direction. Moreover, Belarus's export opportunities grow 30-40% annually, so the practical component in the Belarusian-Latvian transit cooperation will be defining.
It is not the first time Belarus has blackmailed the Baltic States.
Independent economists note that it is not profitable for Belarus to re-direct its traffic from Lithuanian and Latvian ports to, for example, Saint Petersburg.
It should be reminded that the EU imposed sanctions as a response to repression and human rights violations in Belarus with the aim to release the Belarusian political prisoners.