Press information Border security
Robežsardzes helikopteris

On Tuesday, 12 March, the Cabinet of Ministers (CoM) re-announced the six-month enhanced border surveillance regime, starting from tomorrow, 13 March, until 12 September this year. The reinforced border surveillance regime will be in place in Ludza municipality, Krāslava municipality, Augšdaugava municipality, Kaunata rural municipality in Rezekne municipality and Daugavpils.

The Order was issued to ensure the inviolability of the state border and the prevention of threats to the state, as well as in view of the number and increasing trend of illegal crossing attempts at the Latvian-Belarusian state border.

The State Border Guard Service (SBGS) already provides continuous protection of the eastern border. However, in view of the increasing number of illegal border crossing attempts, the State Police (SP) and the National Armed Forces (NAF) have been instructed to provide the necessary support to the SBGS in ensuring border surveillance to prevent illegal crossing of the state border.

According to the Cabinet Order, the SBGS, the SP, as well as NAF officials are entitled to enter residential premises and territories of land plots in order to prevent or overcome a relevant threat, also if it is not possible to obtain the permission of the owner, possessor or holder in order to detect hiding places of persons who have illegally crossed the state border or hiding places of goods moved across the state border outside border crossing points or to apprehend such persons or seize relevant goods, if there are reasonable grounds for suspicion.

In order to prevent or overcome the threat, the SBGS personnel shall also have the right to stop and inspect vehicles, to request and receive a person's identity document for verification, as well as to request information and documents in order to verify the lawfulness of a person's presence in the territory of the Republic of Latvia, if there are reasonable grounds for suspicion.

At the same time, the SBGS has the right, if necessary, to provide food and basic necessities to persons attempting to cross the State border outside the border crossing points established for lawful entry. This regulation applies only to those persons who exceptionally cross the State border outside the border crossing point and face a threat to their life or are in the transit zone between the Latvian–Belarusian State border zones and there is a threat to life but there are no objectively justified circumstances that would necessitate immediate entry.

The Order also provides that the Emergency Medical Aid Service and state and municipal hospital medical institutions shall, at the request of the SBGS, provide the necessary medical assistance to such persons.

Currently, the competent authorities in Lithuania and Poland also continue to receive information on cases of illegal State border crossings from the territory of Belarus. Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and Finland also continue to face various types of hybrid attacks.  It is therefore essential to ensure a coordinated inter-state response to such illegal state border crossing attempts in order to ensure equivalent State border surveillance across the region with Belarus.

Border control is an essential State function within the European Union (EU), which serves not only to protect the external borders of the Member States, but also of the EU as a whole. In addition, only lawful entry into the country or crossing the State border at the places and in the manner prescribed for that purpose is to be considered admissible.

Prepared by:

Ministry of the Interior

Communication Department