In LatviaYesterday, 19:59 Minister of the Interior: The lonely border crossing point has a low throughput capacity

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By RockedBuzz 6 Min Read

If the Vientuli border crossing was not closed, then thousands of Ukrainian nationals would try to cross the border with Russia, thus forming huge queues, explained the Minister of Internal Affairs Rihards Kozlovskis (JV).

Minister of the Interior Rihards Kozlovskis
Minister of the Interior Rihards Kozlovskis Photo: Lita Miller/LETA

If the Vientuli border crossing was not closed, then thousands of Ukrainian nationals would try to cross the border with Russia, thus forming huge queues, explained the Minister of Internal Affairs Rihards Kozlovskis (JV).

Russia has decided that holders of Ukrainian passports will have the right to enter Russia from third countries only at two border crossing points, including Vientulii. If Latvia would allow Singles to continue operating, then thousands of Ukrainian nationals would come from the nearest European countries, the minister said.

“Specialists’ calculations show that it would be as many as 600 people per day, and at the same time there is no guarantee of the throughput capacity of the Russian border guard, taking into account that Russia did not decide on the conditions for the entry of Ukrainians by chance. So the entire flow of border crossers would narrow to one small border crossing point – Vientulii,” emphasized the minister.

The singles have a low throughput capacity and can be crossed by about 65 people per day. “If Vientuli point remains, these people would have to stay near the border crossing for a long time, especially when autumn has actually already arrived. Queues of thousands of people would inevitably form, and you can imagine what the situation would be like in a month or two,” Kozlovskis emphasized.

The politician understands the desire of Ukrainian nationals to come to Russia for various reasons, but in this case the interests of Latvia’s national security are primary. Taking into account that Russia has prohibited crossing the border at more than 30 places, the Latvian government is forced to make a decision on suspending the operation of Vientuli border crossing points.

The closure of the minor Pededze border crossing point is related to the need for additional border guard resources to protect the green border, the minister said.

The head of the State Border Guard, Guntis Pujāts, said on Thursday that the border guard will comply with the government’s decision and he has no concerns that as a result of such a decision, longer queues of trucks could form at the Terehova and Grebneva border crossing points.

It has already been reported that the Latvian government supported the suspension of the Pededze and Vientuli border crossings on Thursday.

From October 16, the smallest border control point on the Latvian-Russian border – “Vientuli” – would have become the last option for holders of Ukrainian passports over 14 years old to enter Russia from third countries by land. Now, Ukrainian citizens will only be able to enter Russia through the border crossing point at Sheremetyevo Airport, located in Moscow.

The Ministry of the Interior (IeM) has indicated that a decision has been made in Russia, which states that from October 16, 2023, all holders of Ukrainian passports will have the right to enter Russia from third countries at only two border crossing points, and one of them is the border crossing point to Latvia- Borders of Russia – Single border crossing point.

Accordingly, such a decision shows that conditions are being created on the Latvian-Russian border that can significantly affect public order and pose a threat to national security. There is reason to believe that such a decision by Russia is a response to the relevant decision of the European Union, including Latvia’s decision to prohibit the entry of vehicles with Russian license plates into the country’s territory, stated the Ministry of Interior.

In view of the military invasion of Ukraine carried out by Russia and the need to prevent threats to Latvia’s internal security, which is related to the attack on Latvia’s national independence, sovereignty, territorial unity, state power or the democratic state system, on October 16 it is planned to suspend the operation of the Pededze border crossing point and Vientuli border crossing points.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will ensure that Russia is informed about the decision.

At the same time, the suspension of the operation of these border crossing points will relieve the resources of the State Border Guard and other relevant services, which may be diverted to ensure border protection in other places.

There are also Terehova and Grebņeva border crossing points on the Latvian-Russian border.

It has already been reported that, taking into account the pressure of illegal immigration realized by Belarus, the government decided to suspend the operation of the Silene border crossing on the Latvian-Belarusian border in mid-September.

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