Latvia’s government has decided to cancel a plan to impose restrictive quotas and tariff surcharges on pork imports from Estonia and Lithuania. The government withdrew the bill from the agenda of today’s parliamentary session. The plan, initiated by Prime Minister Vilis Kristopans, had triggered Estonian and Lithuanian protests and warnings of possible countermeasures. It also encountered reservations in the Latvian parliament. Critics argued that the intended restrictions violated the Baltic trilateral agreement on free trade in agricultural products, as well as Latvia’s obligations to the World Trade Organization. Latvia’s backtracking averts a trade dispute with divisive political implications (BNS, January 13; see the Monitor, January 8).
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT BEGINS CABINET RESHUFFLE.