Latvia is investigating whether its banks acted as conduits for Russian funds used to interfere in elections and politics elsewhere, after it received a warning from the United States, officials have told Reuters. The allegations, which highlight the country’s role as a stepping stone for Russian money on its way to the west, come after Latvia’s third largest bank was shut in February after being accused by the United States of money laundering. Foreign affairs minister Edgars Rinkevics told Reuters that citizens from Russia and former Soviet states, including people subject to U.S. sanctions, had put money in Latvian banks and some of it may have been used for political manipulation.
“There is also the connection to … hybrid warfare that money being transferred or kept in (the) Latvian financial system can be used to undermine … the political systems of other countries,” Rinkevics said.
“Currently, our law enforcement authorities are investigating some leads that we have been provided that are related to hybrid warfare,” he said, referring to campaigns to influence political developments.