Due to the mobilization announced in Russia, on September 28, 2022, the Government decided to introduce a state of emergency in the territory of Alūksne, Balva and Ludza districts, as well as in ports, airports, border crossing points established at airfields and on railways. The state of emergency at the Latvian-Russian border will remain in force for three months. The Government also decided to close the Pededze border crossing point to further reduce the flow of Russian citizens, and instructed the State Border Guard to step up border surveillance and border checks on Russian citizens, drawing additional resources from other services.
At the moment, the situation on the Latvian-Russian border is stable, peaceful and under strict control, however, with the mobilization announced in Russia, the number of Russian citizens who want to leave their country has significantly increased. Thus, there is a risk that the number of illegal migrants could increase rapidly on the Latvian-Russian border as well. The aim of emergency measures is to preemptively prepare for it, the representatives of the ministry explain.
We have developed and approved by the Government action plans of different levels depending on the number of migrants. The border is already under increased surveillance to prevent any attempts to cross it illegally. However, there is a risk that the number of migrants could increase rapidly in a short period of time, therefore, in order for the border guards to be able to mobilize additional resources – the State Police, the State Security Service and the National Armed Forces – in case of need, it is necessary to declare an emergency situation at the border. We have to take precautionary measures in advance, without waiting for the situation to escalate,” emphasizes Minister of the Interior Kristaps Eklons.
The State Border Guard strictly adheres to a joint government decision, which stipulates that only the categories of persons specified in the order are allowed to cross the external border of the EU. Since September 19, when the order of the Cabinet of Ministers “On the entry of citizens of the Russian Federation into the Republic of Latvia” came into force, the State Border Guard has strengthened controls, including carefully checking all persons. Also, the border guards are patrolling more to prevent illegal crossing of the green border.
The number of Russian citizens who want to enter Latvia continues to decrease. From September 19 until now, 57 Russian citizens have been denied entry. No Russian citizen crosses the Latvian border as a tourist. The range of persons who are allowed to cross the external border of the EU as an exception is determined in accordance with the agreement reached by the ministers of foreign affairs of the countries of the region and in accordance with the decision of the Latvian government.
Minister of the Interior
Advisor to the Minister on Communication Issues
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