RIGA - Thursday evening, the government supported restrictions on Russian citizens with European Union visas who wish to travel to Latvia, LETA learned from the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
As reported, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland have agreed not to allow Russian citizens with EU visas into the Schengen area for the purposes of tourism, culture, sports and business.
The Latvian government's decision provides that Russian citizens who have received a visa for humanitarian considerations will be able to enter Latvia.
According to the Foreign Ministry, Russia's actions can affect internal security in Latvia, which makes it necessary to set restrictions on Russian citizens' trips to Latvia for non-essential purposes, such as tourism and recreation.
In order to prevent a potential threat to Latvia's internal security, the State Border Guard will be given the right to allow entry and transit through the territory of Latvia only to holders of Latvian, EU, European Economic Area and Swiss residence permits or long-term visas.
Likewise, persons who have been issued a short-term visa, persons who are family members of Latvian, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals, as well as persons involved in international freight or passenger transport, sailors, and persons who have received a visa for humanitarian considerations will be able to enter Latvia.
Employees of Russian diplomatic missions accredited in Latvia and their family members, diplomatic couriers and persons who travel to the Russian embassy in Latvia to provide short-term technical support will also be allowed to enter Latvia.
Employees of Russian diplomatic missions who pass through Latvia in transit, their family members and persons who travel through Latvia to provide short-term technical support at a Russian embassy in an EU country will also be able to enter Latvia.
The government's decision will come into force on September 19 and will be in effect until June 3, 2023.