RIGA - The fencing on Latvia's border is being set-up quickly and in high quality, and will in no way be inferior to the fencing set-up by Latvia's neighbors, Interior Minister Maris Kucinskis (United List) said today during a debate at parliament on the 2023 budget project.
Saeima is reviewing the draft state budget project for 2023 in the first reading today.
Kucinskis emphasized that the officials involved in the process and the construction companies involved are well aware of the importance of the fencing in strengthening Latvia's security. The much-discussed lagging behind Lithuania and Poland in matters of border construction is being dealt with, said the Minister of the Interior.
The amount planned in the 2023 budget for the creation of the infrastructure of the eastern border area is less than EUR 24 million euros. Kucinskis believes that this is a significant investment that will allow for the construction of the defense system in Latvia to be rapidly advanced. In the current geopolitical situation, Latvia must not lag behind its neighbors - Lithuania and Estonia, and from the point of view of border protection security, Latvia's neighbors and allies are also Poland and Finland.
The minister also mentioned in the debate the amendments to the Immigration Law supported by the previous Saeima. Kucinskis does not think that the amendments regulating the conditions of stay of Russian citizens in Latvia are a mistake.
"The mistake is the superficial attitude of politicians towards the mechanisms of implementation of this law. After spending two months as a minister, it is absolutely clear to me that it is impossible to implement all these norms by September 1. The Office for Citizenship and Migration Affairs does not have such capacity. Of course, the condition of knowledge of the Latvian language remains valid. Without a document certifying Latvian language skills, it will not be possible to apply for a permanent residence permit,'' said the Minister of the Interior.
As reported, the revenues of the consolidated state budget for 2023 are planned in the amount of EUR 12.721 billion, while the expenses - in the amount of EUR 14.673 billion.
Compared to the 2022 budget, in 2023 revenue is expected to grow by EUR 2.025 billion and expenditure - by EUR 2.233 billion.
The draft state budget for 2023 is expected to be considered on March 8 in the final reading, which would ensure its entry into force on April 1.