15 names added to Latvia's entry blacklist on security service recommendation

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, Minister of the Interior Marija Golubeva has blacklisted 15 Russian and Belarusian citizens who are deemed a threat to Latvia's national security. The action came on the advice of the State Security Service (VDD).

"In connection with Russia's unjustifiable aggression against Ukraine, the VDD pays increased attention to the citizens of Russia and Belarus who have come to the attention of the service in connection with suspicions of acting in the interests of the authorities of countries unfriendly to Latvia," the VDD said. 

"As a result of the activities of the VDD, nine Russian citizens and six Belarusian citizens have been denied entry to Latvia so far. The information available to the VDD indicates that these persons may be involved in obtaining intelligence or providing support for Russia's foreign policy interests. Among the foreign nationals are those who, despite the crimes committed by the Russian armed forces in Ukraine, express support for the Kremlin."

Most of the persons on the blacklist have links with Russian or Belarusian armed forces and internal agencies, and include businessmen, the VDD added. The individuals have been banned from entering Latvia indefinitely.

"It should be noted that five of the blacklisted persons had been issued temporary residence permits, one had a permanent residence permit and two had a visa," the security service said, adding that it continues to assess the potential risks of "dozens" of other Russian and Belarusian citizens, and will decide whether to suggest them for inclusion on the blacklist or not.

The blacklisting by the Interior Ministry is in addition to the exclusions announced by the Foreign Ministry.

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