Lithuania to investigate local companies doing business in Crimea

The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement appealing to the Prosecutor General's Office in case of media reports about possible violations by some Lithuanian enterprises of the sanctions against Russia.

"Lithuania consistently fulfills its obligations in accordance with EU Council Regulation No. 692/2014 from June 23, 2014 in implementing the restrictions that should be applied to the importation of goods of Crimean or Sevastopol origin into the European Union in response to the illegal annexation of the Crimea and Sevastopol. In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ opinion, individuals and legal entities of Lithuania and other EU states must abide by the sanctions announced by EU, and in case of their violations, individuals may be brought to administrative or criminal liability,” the Ministry declared.

The Office emphasizes that bodies and courts guided by legal acts of EU and Lithuania must be the ones to decide the question of whether or not a particular enterprise has violated the sanctions established by EU.

"Lithuania firmly supports the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We adhere to a rigid and principled position on Russian aggression against Ukraine and on the issue of the illegal annexation of the Crimea," the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized.

On July 26, the Lithuanian business newspaper Verslo zinios wrote that because of the sanctions that are applied to Russia, there are problems with several Lithuanian companies that have been carrying out activities in the Crimea. Some of the companies mentioned include Hanner, one of the largest real estate development companies in Lithuania, Pluosto Iinija, an enterprise registered in the Crimea, and also BT Invest Company.

EU sanctions against Russia were introduced in 2014 after the annexation of the Crimea. Later, the EU imposed sanctions against Russia for its involvement in the fighting in the East of Ukraine. Restrictive measures were extended and prolonged several times.

There has been no indication that sanctions will be lifted any time soon. In fact, in the near future, US President Donald Trump is expected to sign the law on anti-Russian sanctions expansion.

  Lithuania, Crimea, Russia, Ukraine, Sanctions