Enhanced border guarding announced in Latvia

For a period of six months, from August 11 to February 10 next year, the border guarding system in the administrative territories of Ludza, Krāslava, Augšdaugava, and Daugavpils will be reinforced, the government decided on Tuesday, 8 August.

The order was issued to ensure the integrity of the national border and the prevention of threats to national security, taking into account disproportionate numbers of illegal crossings and crossing attempts at the Latvian–Belarusian border and their increasing trend.

Since August 11, 2021, a state of emergency has been in force in the border area, which has been extended numerous times. The enhanced border guarding is to replace the state of emergency formally.

The Ministry of Interior (IeM) said that information on cases of illegal border crossings from the territory of Belarus was still also being received from Lithuania and Poland.

Consequently, it is essential to ensure that joint international coordinated action is taken.

IeM data show that more than 14,000 persons have been prevented from crossing the Latvian State border since August 11, 2021, including 5,461 this year.

For humanitarian reasons, 282 persons have been allowed entry into the country since January this year, 117 of them minors.

The order approved by the government provides for the State Border Guard (VRS) to carry out enhanced surveillance of the Latvian–Belarusian border, with the National Armed Forces (NBS) and the State Police (VP) providing the necessary support. According to the order, officials of \ VRS and VP are entitled to enter residential and non-residential premises and land plots if there are grounds for suspicion of illegal crossing.

At the same time, VRS and the VP have the right to ensure that the offenders are supplied with food and essential goods in life-threatening situations. Medical assistance is also to be rovided.

Expenditure related to the implementation of the measures necessary to comply with this order is intended to be covered by the State budget contingency funds.


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