The Latvian government has made the decision to close one of its border crossings with Russia, claiming that Moscow is attempting to create chaos by directing Ukrainian passport holders through a small rural checkpoint. The remote outpost of Vientuli, ill-equipped to handle a large influx of travelers, would be overwhelmed by the increased traffic, posing a threat to national security and tensions on the European Union border.
Latvian Foreign Minister Krisjanis Karins has accused Russia of using this tactic to divide EU member states that share a border with Russia. Despite these attempts, Karins remains confident that such tactics will fail and has vowed to coordinate a common position with EU and NATO partners.
Starting from next week, individuals with Ukrainian passports will only be able to enter Russian territory through Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport or Latvia’s Ventuli crossing point. As a result, the Latvian government has decided to close Vientuli from Monday onwards. The small Padedze crossing will also be closed, although the specific reasoning behind this decision has not been disclosed. However, two larger border crossings with Russia will remain open.
These recent border closures reflect the ongoing tensions between Russia and several European countries. They are taking measures to protect their borders and maintain national security amidst concerns of external interference and migration challenges. Last month, Latvia closed one of its border crossing points with Belarus, citing accusations of Minsk using illegal migrants to undermine the country’s security. In 2021, Latvia, Poland, and Lithuania faced an immigration crisis when a significant number of individuals from the Middle East and Africa crossed into their territories from Belarus.
Q: Why is Latvia closing one of its border crossings with Russia?
A: Latvia claims that Moscow is attempting to create chaos by directing Ukrainian passport holders through a small rural checkpoint.
Q: What is the concern about the remote outpost of Vientuli?
A: Vientuli is ill-equipped to handle a large influx of travelers and would be overwhelmed, posing a threat to national security and tensions on the European Union border.
Q: What is the reasoning behind the closure of the Padedze crossing?
A: The specific reasoning behind this decision has not been disclosed.