Fact Check: Latvian Farmers Did NOT Protest Against Sanctions On Russia And Belarus


  • Автор: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Latvian Farmers Did NOT Protest Against Sanctions On Russia And Belarus The Opposite

Have Latvian farmers been protesting against sanctions on Russian and Belarusian food products? No, that's not true: It's the opposite. They want food imports from Russia and Belarus to be banned.

The claim appeared in a TikTok video (archived here) published by sotniktiktok (archived here) on February 6, 2024. The caption, translated from Russian into English by Lead Stories staff, reads:

Latvian farmers protest against sanctions on Belarus and Russia. Farm workers from Latvia joined the international farmers' protests against Ukrainian farm products and demand the restoration of the reduced VAT rate of 5% on Latvian fruits and vegetables. And also the removal of sanctions on food production from Russia and Belarus, which have no analogues anywhere.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2024-02-08 at 10.23.54 AM.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Feb 8 06:29:42 2024 UTC)

Latvian farmers started to protest (archived here) in different cities across the country on February 5, 2024, to draw the government's attention to the problems in the agricultural industry. Latvian farmers' association Zemnieku Saeima published on January 31, 2024, (archived here) a list of demands to be met by the Latvian government, including an immediate ban on the import of food products from Russia and Belarus, the return of the 5% reduced VAT rate for Latvian fruits, berries, and vegetables, the promotion of competitiveness of the industry and the reduction of bureaucracy in the agricultural sector, among others.

Chairman of the board of Zemnieku Saeima Juris Lazdiņš expressed (archived here) his dissatisfaction with the government's approach to the demands that the association had first presented to the Ministry of Agriculture in November 2023.

While not all of the farmers' requests have been addressed yet, a ban on grain arriving from Russia and Belarus to Latvia is scheduled to come into effect (archived here) in February 2024. Following the protests, a draft law to impose an embargo (archived here) on food products from those countries was being prepared, at the time of writing, by the Agriculture Ministry of Latvia (archived here).

  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

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