Latvia's Silene border point closed due to migration pressure

In order to ensure the integrity of the State border and the prevention of threats to the State in relation to illegal migration, the operation of the Silene border crossing point on the Latvian-Belarusian border has been suspended, according to the draft Cabinet regulation approved by the government on Tuesday, September 19.

In order not to significantly affect freight transport, as well as the urgently necessary journeys related to the continuous performance of employment relations, humanitarian considerations, or force majeure, the crossing operation of the Latvian-Belarusian border will continue at one border crossing point – the Pāternieki point.

Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis (New Unity) said at a government meeting that the closure of the Silene border post will allow border guards to be redeployed for so-called “green border” security and patrols.

The initiative to close the Silene border post was announced last week by border Guard Chief Guntis Pujāts, saying in an interview with Latvian Radio that the situation last week “[was] probably the most tense in these three years since 2021.”

Over the past 6 days, officials of the State Border Guard have prevented attempts by 894 persons to cross the Latvian-Belarusian border illegally. The pressure of illegal immigration has tripled in a short period of time, the draft regulation's annotation says.

So far in September Border Guard officials have prevented 1,773 attempts to cross the Latvian-Belarusian border illegally, while in August a total of 1,615 attempts to cross the Latvian-Belarusian border illegally were prevented.

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