Comment of Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry on possible violation of sanctions regime against Russian Federation
Lithuania strongly supports Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. We adhere to our strict and principled position on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea.
After the last week’s reports in the media about a violation of the sanctions regime against the Russian Federation by Lithuanian companies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately approached the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Lithuania.
Lithuania has consistently fulfilled its obligations with regard to the Council Regulation (EU) No 692/2014 of 23 June 2014 concerning restrictions on goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes that natural and legal persons from Lithuania and other EU countries without exceptions must comply with the sanctions imposed by the EU. Individuals who violate the sanctions can be held administratively or criminally liable. Law enforcement authorities and courts, in accordance with the legal acts of the EU and the Republic of Lithuania, will decide whether individuals have violated the sanctions imposed by the EU.
After the EU imposed sanctions against Russia in response to the annexation of Crimea, the EU compiled an Information Note to EU business operating in Crimea/Sevastopol in 2014. The document outlines steps to be taken by companies in light of the situation on the ground, when the legal acts of the Russian Federation were de facto introduced to the Crimean Peninsula. The objective of this document was to raise businesses’ awareness on the risks related to the situation in Crimea/Sevastopol, following the illegal annexation by Russia. The prohibited activity has been clearly defined, and, therefore, cannot be carried out.