Minister: More Russian citizens leave Latvia than enter

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More Russian citizens leave Latvia than enter, said Interior Minister Kristaps Eklons on Latvian Television on October 11. The Minister added that though there is rare news of Russians expelled from Latvia, active monitoring is ongoing.

According to the Interior Ministry, entry to Latvia has been refused to 226 Russian citizens since September 19.

“The services really carry out their duties very carefully and take a very detailed look at the documentation and personality of the people entering,” Eklons said. He said the assumption sometimes circulating in the public space that Latvian security services were not as active as, for example, Estonian services, was inaccurate.

The Minister also said that Russian citizens are leaving Latvia more than entering. Since September 19, 6,043 Russian nationals have entered Latvia, and 6,298 have departed.

Since the beginning of the war, the Minister for the Interior has included 106 foreigners (of which 48 are Russian citizens) in the so-called blacklist, following the recommendations of the State Security Service (VDD). Information at the disposal of the VDD has indicated the possible involvement of these persons in the acquisition of intelligence information or the provision of support for the attainment of Russian foreign policy interests.

Among blacklisted foreigners are individuals who have expressed support for Russian military aggression against Ukraine. If the person is in the territory of Latvia at the time of taking the decision, he or she shall be expelled.

“It is the task of the State Border Guard to find and expel this person from the State. […] I have no information today that someone has not been found or that the planned activities have not been carried out,” the Minister added.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the VDD and other services have been paying increased attention not only to arrivals, but also to foreigners who have lived here before the war.

Since the beginning of the year, 1,361 Russian citizens have had their residence permits in Latvia annulled.

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