The Latvian authorities announced tough checks of Russians and Belarusians at the border

The border guards are trying to make sure that the citizens of Russia and Belarus do not threaten the national security of the country. The Russians report, in particular, about the requirement to sign a document condemning the special operation in Ukraine at the border ” type=”image/webp” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Foreigners entering the territory of Latvia from Russia or Belarus are subject to more thorough checks at border points, the State Security Service (SSS) of the country has reported, LSM reports.

“The purpose of the inspections is to identify those who support the Russian military aggression against Ukraine and who may threaten the national security of Latvia”, — explained in the SGB. They noted that foreigners who served in the law enforcement agencies of the two countries or “publicly demonstrate symbols praising” actions of Russian troops in Ukraine.

Entry was denied to 62 foreigners, including 41 Russians and 14 Belarusians, the department said, without specifying what period they are talking about. Holders of a Schengen visa were canceled. Many of these people “openly expressed their support” Russian special operation, the State Security Service noted.

LSM cites the story of a Latvian citizen named Svetlana, whose husband— a Russian citizen with a residence permit in Latvia— when returning from Russia, from the funeral of his mother, they forced him to sign a document condemning the special operation in Ukraine.

On July 25, President of the All-Russian Union of Insurers Igor Yurgens told RBC about a similar requirement. According to him, the Latvian border guards three days earlier did not let him into the country at the border checkpoint Urbany (Belarus)— Silene» because of the refusal to sign a document “condemning the Russian authorities.” For this, Yurgens was declared a threat to Latvia's national security.

The Russian Foreign Ministry called the rationale for the ban absurd and accused Riga of demonstrating “an ugly manifestation of democracy in Latvian style.” The department protested to the Charge d'Affaires of the Republic Dace Rutke.

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Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu proposed to demand from the Russians a document condemning Moscow's policy, following the example of Latvia. He also said that Tallinn would come up with an initiative to ban Russians from entering the EU. Prior to this, several of the main parliamentary parties in Finland advocated the refusal to provide Russian citizens with tourist visas. The European Commission ruled out such a possibility as not complying with EU standards. “There are always groups of people who need to be given visas. These are humanitarian cases, family members [of EU citizens], journalists and dissidents,— explained in the EC.

Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov promised to respond to decisions of an “emotional nature”; on Schengen visas. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also threatened Finland with retaliatory measures. The director of the consular department of the department, Ivan Volynkin, said that “even seemingly unbelievable” ones cannot be ruled out. scenarios and the EU may indeed stop issuing visas to Russians.

On February 24, Riga stopped issuing visas to Russians, with the exception of humanitarian ones.

Latvian President Egils Levits proposed to deprive the citizenship of Russians living in the country who support military operation. A neutral position, in his opinion, is also impossible in the current situation.

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