Two Latvian-Russian border points closed successfully

The closure of Vientuļi and Pededze border points on the Latvian-Russian border has been successful, but the number of people deterred from crossing the border illegally is increasing again on the Latvian-Belarusian border, Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis (New Unity) told Latvian Radio on October 16.

Kozlovskis said that, according to the report this morning by State Border Guard Chief Guntis Pujāts, the night after the closure of the two border points was spent peacefully, and those who had arrived, left.

“The border points have been closed successfully, but since the Latvian government took the relevant decision [on Thursday, October 12] Russian services worked very slowly – persons were delayed in Vientuļi, and nobody was let through on Sunday morning,” Kozlovskis noted.

According to Kozlovskis, this only confirms that if Latvia had left Vientuļi border point open, there would be a large number of people gathered there, thus creating risks to Latvia's national security.

A concrete wall has now been set up on both border points, but they have not been left completely unmonitored. Meanwhile, border guards from Vientuļi and Pededze will be diverted to the “green border.”

129 people have been prevented from entering Latvia on the border with Belarus overnight. “There was a fall for a few days but again there is an increase,” said the minister.

The minister noted that the border points of Grebņeva and Terehova continue to work, but that this weekend has also been slow: “Russia put a brake on the usual process of permeability of border points - there were hours when no person [crossed the border], then just one per hour.”

Speaking about Russia's possible further action, Kozlovskis replied: “Let's wait for what Russia will do now, but I want to stress that this is their deliberate actions that have led to this situation. There were 32 points in the Schengen area where you could cross [the border with Russia]. If there were any reasons, one could be closed, but not one left out of 32. One doesn't have to be very forward-thinking to realize that this has been deliberately done. We are in a real hybrid war situation,” the minister summed up.

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