Latvian Capital to Continue Cooperation with Sanctioned Russian Company

The city council of Riga, Latvia’s capital, intends to continue with a cooperation agreement with OJSC Giprostroymost Institute, a Russian company sanctioned by the EU and the United States, RT reported on Monday citing Una Ahuna-Ozola, a representative of the Department of Transport of the city council.

According to her, the Riga City Council signed a cooperation agreement with the company G.B.V, which comprises the Giprostroymost Institute, in 2016, before the company ended up on sanction lists in Brussels and Washington.

According to the cooperation agreement, the Russian company is designing a section of the road in Riga, and the work on this project is almost completed. Giprostroymost has only 3.8% of the total amount of work to be completed, the department said.

“Taking into account the amount of work done and the fact that this is one of the projects co-financed by the EU, which will be completed by the end of 2020, the Department of Transport is not considering the possibility of terminating the contract,” Ahuna-Ozola said.

In June 2018, the department received a letter from Latvia’s Foreign Ministry, which clearly stated that the ban on cooperation with the companies included in the sanction lists would not apply to the projects, which had already been launched.

Giprostorymost came under sanctions in July when the EU expanded its sanctions list related to the reunification of Crimea with Russia, as well as Russia’s construction of a bridge across the Kerch Strait to Russia’s mainland. Latvia has backed the sanctions in the EU, as well as other measures against Russia connected to the Crimea crisis.