Saturday 24th Feb 2024
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Ministry of Foreign Affairs

US State Dept asks GoM to sanction Russia

United States of America's State Department has asked the Government of Maldives to impose sanctions on Russia, mirroring the actions taken by US and European nations.
The request was put forth in a meeting held between Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Donald Lu and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Khaleel. The said meeting was held last week.
The US is banning all Russian oil and gas imports and have frozen the assets of Russia's central bank, to stop it using its $630bn in foreign currency reserves. European nations have seized yachts, belonging to Russian oligarchs, moored in various ports. With this most of the yachts had changed course to the Maldives.
The State Department requested the Government to impose sanctions on these yachts. In response, Mr. Khaleel said that the Maldivian economy is heavily reliant on Russian tourists and if any actions are to be taken then an economic study needed to be undertaken. Mr. Khaleel also said that the Ministry will see what action can be taken, in light of this request.
Following this meeting, President Ibrahim Mohamed Salih had addressed the nation. In his address, President Salih had condemned Russian aggression, affirming his support for Ukraine.
Russian tourist arrivals account for the highest arrivals, as of February 2022. Statistics issued by Ministry of Tourism shows that as of February 2022, 33,191 arrivals were from Russia, which is 15.8 percent of the total tourist arrivals to the Maldives. Industry experts say that that any action taken against Russia will have negative, long-term repercussions on the country's economy.