The Latvian government has announced a “toughened regime to protect the border with Belarus”. The regulation will enter into force on August 11 and will be in force for six months. The police and the army have been sent to the border, and the border guards will work in “enhanced mode”.
On Tuesday, August 8, the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers announced the strengthening of the border with Belarus. The regulation, which was issued “to ensure the inviolability of the state border and prevent state threats”, will be in force from August 11, 2023 to February 10, 2024.
Latvia. The border with Belarus will be strengthened
The decision on increased protection is the result of numerous attempts to illegally cross the Latvian-Belarusian border. In an official communiqué, the authorities said that the problem had been growing in recent days. “Since August 11, 2021, more than 14,000 people could not cross the Latvian border outside border crossings and procedures established for legal entry, including from January 1, 2023 to August 7, 2023 – 5,461 people,” the Latvian news portal reported. LSM.
An additional impulse for the Latvian authorities were reports of threats from the Wagnerian aircraft currently stationed in Belarus, and reports of dangerous incidents, such as the appearance of Belarusian helicopters in Poland.
Consequences of the migration crisis
“It is very important to ensure a uniform and coordinated international action on such attempts to illegally cross the state border in order to ensure equal protection of the borders of the countries of the entire region with Belarus,” the authorities assured. To this end, in four border districts – Ludza, Kraslava, Augšdaugava and Daugavpils – increased work of the border guards was announced, which will be supported by the state armed forces and police officers.
The legal act stipulates that the State Police and the State Border Guard will search for persons who have crossed the border illegally and are hiding in Latvia. For this purpose, the services will be given the right to enter residential and non-residential premises, which they will consider as potential hiding places. The Latvian authorities assured that the found persons would receive the necessary medical assistance from the ambulance service and inpatient treatment facilities.