Enhanced border watch to be reinstated in Latvia

With the flow of illegal migrants picking up again, the Ministry of the Interior (MoI) is proposing to reinstate a reinforced border security regime at the Latvian-Belarusian border shortly, according to a draft order prepared by the MoI March 7.

The reinforced border security regime is planned to be in place from March 13 to September 12 this year.

During the winter months, the flow of migrants to Latvia dwindled so the reinforced border surveillance mode was not extended beyond February 10, 2024. However, now that the pressure of illegal migration is again on the rise, the State Border Guard Service calls for the reintroduction of reinforced border surveillance.

"The state has to ensure its security in all circumstances, and the precautionary principle should apply to the protection of national security," the MoI said.

It is planned to restore the border security regime in Ludza, Krāslava, Augšdaugava municipalities, Daugavpils City, and Rēzekne municipality Kaunata parish. 

The order will instruct the State Police and the National Armed Forces to provide the necessary support to the State Border Guard in securing the border between Latvia and Belarus to prevent illegal crossing of the state border.

The order gives the responsible bodies various rights, for example to enter properties without the owner's permission in order to prevent a threat.

Guntis Pujāts, Head of the State Border Guard Service, has stated that recent days have shown an increase in the number of illegal migrant offenses.

The latest Border Guard data show that a total of 172 people have been deterred from crossing the border illegally this year.

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