Russia blusters over Latvian border checks

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation announced that the Charge d'Affaires of the Latvian embassy in Moscow, ​​Dace Rutka, was summoned to the Ministry on July 27 to receive a protest in connection with the current requirements for Russian citizens who want to enter Latvia.

"She received a strong protest and a corresponding note regarding provocative actions of the Latvian law enforcement agencies, which are exerting crude pressure on Russian citizens entering the territory of Latvia, requiring them to sign a ready-made statement disavowing the policy of the Russian Federation. In case of refusal, entry to Latvia is banned," said the representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ivan Nechaev.

representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ivan Nechaev

"This practice is becoming systematic. Dozens of such incidents have already been reported, including with Russian motor carriers and even on humanitarian occasions, such as removal of an urn with ashes for burial," Nechaev fumed, apparently unaware of the potential irony of his words given Russia's current attitude to international borders and the burial of the dead.

"Another outrageous incident occurred on July 22 with President of the Russian Union of Insurers Igor Yurgens, who was denied entry to Latvia for the absurd reason that he poses a 'threat to the public order, internal security, public health or foreign relations of one or more member countries of the European Union'," complained Nechaev, dressed in indigo suit and patterned violet tie.

"We strongly condemn the unfriendly actions of Riga, which once again demonstrate how deformed Latvian-style 'democracy' is, the smooth-headed representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs concluded.

Latvia's State Security Service (VDD) said in July that since the Russian invasion of Ukraine it had refused entry to dozens of people, often on the grounds that they expressed support for Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its genocidal actions there.

Foreigners who enter Latvia from the aggressor country Russia or its partner in international crime, Belarus, are subject to increased checks at border control points.

Russia's annoyance may soon become even more intense with sentiment growing in several Schengen Zone states including Finland, Estonia and Latvia for a blanket ban on the issuance of visas to Russian citizens, except in exceptional circumstances. 

 

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