Latvia declares emergency in border areas over Russia's mobilization

Latvian-Russian border.
Latvian-Russian border. Source: ERR

A state of emergency has been declared in three areas of the Latvian-Russian border due to Russia's military mobilization, the government said on Tuesday. The act allows Latvia to increase its operations on the border.

The decision was made after Russia's mobilization last week, "which aims to intensify hostilities on the territory of Ukraine, and the need to address the potential threat to Latvia's internal security", LSM reported the government as saying.

The situation at the border may change "rapidly", the Ministry of Interior said, and more people may try to cross the border illegally.

The emergency order will be in force in Aluksne, Balvi and Ludza municipalities and at all border crossing points in ports, airports, airfields and railways, LSM wrote.

Additionally, the Pededze crossing point will be closed and the State Border Guard will carry out "enhanced surveillance" on the border.

According to data published by the Ministry of Interior and State Border Guard on Tuesday, 57 Russian citizens have refused entry to Latvia since September 19 while 2,475 have entered legally. Meanwhile, 2,332 Russia citizens have left.

Latvia, like Estonia and Lithuania, closed its borders to Russian citizens on September 19, with some exceptions. The Latvian government has said it will not accept men fleeing the draft.

A state of emergency is already in force in Ludza, Kraslava, Daugavpils and Augšdaugava municipalities, which border Belarus, due to attempts by migrants to enter the EU.

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Editor: Helen Wright

Source: LSM

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