On Wednesday, 1 March, the Minister for the Interior, Māris Kučinskis, met with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Latvia, Christopher T. Robinson, in Riga.
During the meeting, they discussed bilateral security cooperation between Latvia and the United States, support for Ukrainian refugees in Latvia, and the situation on the Latvian–Belarusian border.
The Minister pointed out the need to strengthen the eastern border, bearing in mind that it is also the external border of the European Union and NATO. Both sides agreed that the regime of A. Lukashenko in Belarus is using migrants from different countries as a tool to achieve its goals on the Latvian–Belarusian border. It was underlined that the situation on the Latvian–Belarusian border became tense again in August 2022 and that migrant flows have been increasing since then. The war launched by Russia and openly supported by Belarus against Ukraine is also seen as an additional risk factor and a possible motivation for Belarus to continue its efforts to destabilize the situation on the border, thus putting pressure on the EU and NATO. A total of 211 persons were detained for illegal border crossings in 2022. In the first two months of this year, 46 persons were detained. In 2022, 5174 persons were deterred from crossing the border, while 213 persons were admitted on humanitarian grounds. This year, 707 persons have already been deterred and 46 admitted.
There was also a discussion on the possibilities for cooperation in organizing training on specific issues such as cybercrime, innovative investigative methods, for example, analyzing the US experience in money laundering, environmental crime, information and evidence analysis.
The US is a strategic partner and ally of Latvia, the two countries have a special relationship, and the area of internal affairs is no exception. Cooperation between the law enforcement authorities of the two countries is active at all levels and has been further strengthened over the last few years.
Advisor to the Minister for the Interior
Phone: +371 67829685