2022.07.19 16:44

Lithuanian parliamentary committee mulls banning business ties with Russia 2022.07.19 16:44

The Seimas Committee on National Security and Defence (NSGK) will consider an initiative to ban business relations with Russia, the committee chairman Laurynas Kasčiūnas has said.

“We will soon have an NSGK meeting not only on this issue but also on the analysis of Russia’s participation in the market and Russia’s impact on our economy in general, as well as what we can do legislatively to control this impact,” Kasčiūnas told the news website on Tuesday.

Raimundas Lopata, a member of the Liberal Movement group in the Seimas, was the first one to propose a legal ban on business relations with Russia, which Lithuania has declared a terrorist state.

According to the MP, Lithuania still does not have a legal mechanism defining the relations of economic entities and private individuals with terrorist organisations and states. He said his proposal seeks to bring clarity.

“Either the resolution that Russia is a terrorist state remains a slogan, or we are trying to implement that idea in our lives, both in foreign policy and in all other areas,” Lopata told the ELTA news agency.

“[The proposal] is focusing on legal regulations, mainly concerning the relations of our economic entities with a terrorist state. And attempts are being made to regulate these relations,” he added.

If the law is passed by the Seimas, businesses would be given a three-month period to cease all contacts with Russia, Lopata said.

According to ELTA, the opposition is critical of such an initiative. Opposition MPs believe that business relations with Russia should not be regulated, as it must be the responsibility of the businesses themselves.

“It’s a strange proposal to regulate businesses by law. It is up to the business to decide where it does business. It is its responsibility and a matter of its reputation,” said former Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis.