RIGA - Responding to the State Border Guard's request, the armed forces will be involved in guarding the Latvian-Russian border as of today, LETA was told at the Defense Ministry.
Starting April 1, solders will be helping the State Border Guard to issue and receive statements from persons crossing Latvia's borders with Estonia and Lithuania that they will comply with the restrictions introduced in Latvia due to the Covid-19 crisis.
"Several hundred soldiers and national guards will be initially involved in providing support to the State Border Guard. At least 40 armed forces' soldiers and national guards will be performing service duties alongside border guards on the European Union's external border. Also, 40 soldiers and national guards will be involved in patrolling the internal border. We will be working together with border guards at four checkpoints on the Estonian border and at two checkpoints on the Lithuanian border," said Defense Minister Artis Pabriks.
At present, the armed forces' involvement in border guarding activities is scheduled until April 14, the end of the state of emergency, but Pabriks believes that the army's involvement might be extended as needed if the Covid-19 crisis continues.
As reported, in an effort to prevent Covid-19 from spreading further in Latvia, a state of emergency came into force on March 13, setting a number of tough restrictions. The state of emergency is in force until April 14. The emergency measures include a ban on all international passenger transportation by air, sea, roads and railway.