“Vientuļi” is the quietest and smallest of the three border inspection posts for Latvia with Russia. Since the beginning of the war, the most frequent crossings are made by Ukrainians and Moldovans. However, Latvian residents also travel: on average, 10 Latvian residents cross the border inspection post “Vientuļi” every day. The State Border Guard said that they were mostly non-citizens. Russian citizens who have residence permits in Latvia, as well as Latvian citizens with Russian residence permits, are also present.
“These are regular travelers who travel either on business or have a place of residence or real estate in one or the other area,” Raimonds Kublickis, deputy head of the State Border Guard's Viļaka administration, told LTV.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not recommend going to Russia. “There could be problems with financial settlements, with the operation of payment cards. Of course, it is necessary to take into account the various activities or provocation of the special services, which are possible either when crossing the border or in the Russian territory. It can also be a false indictment or detention,” said Agnese Saliņa, director of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Latvia's citizens have not complained about this in Russia, but 2-3 cases have been recorded in recent months when Latvian nationals in Belarus have asked for consular assistance after being detained. There are limited opportunities to help.
Meanwhile, the border guards of both Belarus and Russia are working at a slower pace than before. More thorough checks are also carried out across borders.
“All persons are subject to a simplified examination, except for the conditions permitted by European Union legislation to third-country nationals. They are subject to an in-depth inspection. As far as citizens of the Russian Federation are concerned, an additional interview is being conducted with them,” Kublickis said.