RIGA - So far, placement of the National Armed Forces and the Home Guard on the Latvian-Belarusian border is not necessary, said Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (For Development/For) in a press conference today.
He said that the number of troops on the Belarus side has increased, but it does not mean that Latvia needs to increase its military presence on Latvia's side. Pabriks said that the situation cannot be escalated all the time and called on Belarus to reduce its military presence on the border with Latvia.
Pabriks voiced regrets about the fact that Belarus has practically ended the dialogue with the Latvian Border Guard and there is no direct communication any more with Belarus in case of need.
The defense minister said that Belarus should take on the responsibility for the situation on Latvia's eastern border. If this is not done, Latvia's western allies will support Latvia in application of different mechanisms to stop the hybrid warfare launched by Belarus.
Since August 10, a total of 683 persons have been stopped from crossing from Belarus into Latvia.
In the past 24 hours nobody was detained for illegally crossing the border. Since a state of emergency was declared in regions at the Latvian-Belarusian border on August 11, 25 illegal immigrants have been allowed to enter Latvia for humanitarian reasons.
As reported, taking into consideration the steeply increasing numbers of illegal immigrants trying to cross into Latvia from Belarus, the government has declared a state of emergency that will run from August 11 until November 10 in the following municipalities: Ludza Region, Kraslava Region, Augsdaugava Region, and the City of Daugavpils.