US Embassy in Latvia issues security alert

The US Embassy in Latvia on May 7 issued a security alert on its website, notifying travelers of terrorist threats, reports LSM's Russian-language service

"The U.S. government remains concerned that terrorists are intent on targeting U.S. citizens, including children. Terrorists may employ a variety of tactics, such as violent assaults and kidnappings. In the past they have used knives, guns and vehicles as ramming devices. They may target schools, hospitals, churches, tourist locations, transportation hubs, and other venues," the announcement reads.

The alert comes ahead of the May 9 events in Latvia when the country's large Russian-speaking minority gathers in the capital Rīga to mark the end of World War II and the role of the Soviet Union in victory over Nazi Germany.

Nevertheless, the alert mentions neither the May 9 event, nor any other organized gatherings.

The embassy offered LSM the following comment:

"The U.S. Embassy in Riga routinely issues messages to keep American citizens informed about safety and security in Europe. As part of the U.S. government’s “no double standard” policy, we are committed to sharing relevant safety and security information with the non-official U.S. community as well as the official U.S. community. This information is general in nature but in the interests of raising awareness among the larger community, we decided to issue a security alert."

Such announcements are routine among US embassies across the world.

Last year, on May 8 the embassy issued a statement explicitly mentioning large organized gatherings taking place at Uzvaras park in Rīga. 

This afternoon it repeated that action, issuing a "Demonstration Alert" saying:

Event:  A concert expected to take place on May 8 beginning at 18:00 at the Victory Monument, and commemorative events expected to take place on May 9 beginning at 10:00 at the Victory Monument.  A march is expected to take place on May 9 at 16:00 from the Maritime Park Hotel to the Victory Monument.  The events will commemorate Victory Day.  Another march is expected to take place on May 9 from 18:00 in Old Town, from Riflemen’s Square to the Freedom Monument.

Actions to Take:

  • Exercise caution if in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests

  • Monitor local media for updates

  • Be aware of your surroundings

  • Keep a low profile

  • Notify friends and family of your safety

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