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The Baltic States, Poland and Finland Agree to Jointly Impose of EU Sanctions Against Russia

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Photo: The Baltic States, Poland and Finland Agree to Jointly Impose of EU Sanctions Against Russia. Source: lrmuitine.lt
Photo: The Baltic States, Poland and Finland Agree to Jointly Impose of EU Sanctions Against Russia. Source: lrmuitine.lt

On May 9th, at a meeting in Vilnius, the heads of customs services from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Finland signed an agreement to implement a unified control system to enforce sanctions against Russia imposed by the EU. This was reported by the Lithuanian Customs press service.

Specifically, it was revealed that the customs authorities of these five countries will intensify monitoring of goods subject to export restrictions to Russia and will take joint measures to counter the re-export of sanctioned goods from other countries. For example, customs authorities will require documents from manufacturers of sanctioned goods that exclude the possibility of their entry into Russia or other ways of bypassing sanctions.

This approach will apply to goods exported directly to Russia as well as to its neighbors or countries that do not support sanctions against the aggressor. Currently, many sanctioned goods are reaching Russia through Central Asia.

"Statistics show that exports from Lithuania to Central Asian countries have been declining since mid-2023. This confirms that the measures taken by the Lithuanian Customs to prevent sanctions evasion are effective," said Darius Zhivonas, Director General of the Customs Department at the Ministry of Finance of Lithuania.

Currently, Lithuanian customs authorities do not process goods if exporters do not provide the aforementioned documents and information confirming the absence of risk of sanctions evasion. After the agreement is signed, similar practices will be adopted by customs authorities of the signatory countries.

"The Lithuanian Customs has implemented some of the toughest measures to prevent the circumvention of international sanctions against Russia and Belarus. Lithuania consistently seeks to reduce the risk of sanctions evasion in all EU countries. We are pleased that Latvia and Estonia joined our initiative in January this year. And now Poland and Finland have also signed the agreement," said Darius Zhivonas after the signing of the agreement.

It is worth noting that in January of this year, the heads of customs services of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia already approved an agreement on joint measures to control sanctions. Lithuania calls on other EU countries to join the agreement.

"Lithuania's proposal to implement targeted measures uniformly across all EU member states is gaining increasing support. Customs agreements between countries prevent any evasion of sanctions," said Ruta Bilkstite, Deputy Minister of Finance of Lithuania.

As previously reported by The Gaze, the European Union sees the risk of Russian interference in the upcoming European elections in June and proposes to ban European political parties, analytical centers, and other groups from receiving funding from Russia as part of the next package of 14 sanctions aimed at punishing Moscow for its war against Ukraine.

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