53 people turned back at the Latvian border on national security grounds

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Since the invasion of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine, the State Security Service (VDD) in cooperation with the State Border Guard has been carrying out increased control of foreigners entering Latvia at crossing points of the eastern border of Latvia. 

So far, 53 foreigners have been denied entry to Latvia at border crossing points in connection with risks identified by the VDD to Latvia's national security, the security agency said July 8.

Entry into Latvia has been denied to 35 citizens of Russia, 12 citizens of Belarus, as well as to five citizens of other unspecified countries who, in the assessment of the Security Service, could pose a threat to Latvia's national security. For persons who had a visa valid for travel in the Schengen area, it has been cancelled.

"Foreigners who enter Latvia from the aggressor country Russia or its closest ally Belarus are subject to increased checks at border checkpoints. The purpose of the inspections is to identify persons who support Russia's military aggression against Ukraine and may pose a threat to Latvia's national security," the VDD said.

"During the inspections, special attention is paid to foreigners who, for example, once served in the power structures of Russia or Belarus, publicly demonstrate symbols glorifying Russian aggression or express a negative attitude towards the Latvian state. A large number of foreigners who were refused entry to Latvia openly expressed their support for Russia's military aggression against Ukraine and its people, using typical Kremlin war propaganda messages," it added.  

The VDD said it will continue to pay increased attention to foreigners who enter Latvia from Russia and Belarus.

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