At the entrance to Latvia from Russia, special attention is now paid to those who can be suspected of supporting Russian aggression against Ukraine. In some cases, entry is prohibited, the Schengen visa is cancelled.
According to Ukrinform, this was reported by the national broadcaster LSM with reference to the official response of the State Security Service (VDD).
“The purpose of the checks is to identify individuals who support Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine and may pose a threat to Latvia’s national security. During the checks, special attention is paid to foreigners who, for example, once served in the security forces of Russia or Belarus, publicly display symbols glorifying Russian aggression, or express a negative attitude towards the Latvian state,” the VDD said in a statement.
It also notes that a large number of foreigners who were denied entry to Latvia openly expressed their support for Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. In doing so, they used typical Kremlin propaganda messages about the ongoing war.
Thus, at the border crossings to Latvia, 62 foreigners were denied entry, including 41 Russians, 14 citizens of Belarus, and 7 citizens of other countries. According to VDD, they may pose a threat to the national security of Latvia. For persons who had a valid visa for travel to the Schengen area, it was cancelled.
The request of the Latvian Radio to VDD was sent after reports on social networks that, upon entering Latvia, some immigrants from Russia were insistently asked to sign a paper condemning Russia’s military actions in Ukraine. Otherwise, they may not be allowed to cross the border and cancel the relevant documents.
July 27 Ministry of Foreign Affairs Latvia received a note from the Russian Foreign Ministry regarding the increased attention of the Latvian border guards to Russian citizens.
Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics explained that “to protest against what we do or do not do on our national territory, protecting our security and reducing risks, is pointless.” “We will continue to act in the interests of our security. At the same time, I would like to add that we are also aware of cases when Latvian citizens traveling to Russia or Belarus are influenced, they are being recruited,” Rinkevics stressed.
Given the above, he again called on the citizens of Latvia not to travel to Russia and Belarus, as now is not the best time for tourism.
On February 24, the Russian Federation began a new stage of the war against Ukraine – a full-scale invasion. The invaders are shelling and bombing the peaceful cities and villages of Ukraine, killing the civilian population. Democratic countries adopt sanctions against the aggressor and at the same time provide support to Ukraine.