Security Service repeatedly advises Latvian citizens not to travel to Russia and Belarus

  • 2024-03-25
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The State Security Service advises Latvian citizens not to travel to Russia or Belarus during the upcoming Easter holidays, citing the high risk of intelligence activities and recruitment attempts in the territory of these countries, the service informed LETA.

Russia continues to wage war in Ukraine, committing war crimes and threatening security of the entire of Europe. In these circumstances, the risks to Latvia's national security have not diminished. Russia and its closest ally Belarus have been trying to launch various types of hybrid attacks against Latvia, the Security Service points out.

Russian and Belarusian intelligence services have become more aggressive and are trying to use any means possible to obtain intelligence on NATO and European Union member countries, including Latvia.

In the current circumstances, Russian and Belarusian special services have limited possibilities to obtain intelligence on Latvia's territory. As a result, special services of both aggressor countries regularly try to recruit Latvian nationals who have entered the territory of these countries.

The Security Service warns that Russian and Belarusian special services will not hesitate to use threats, blackmail and other unlawful methods to try to coerce foreign nationals visiting these countries to cooperate.

These attempts often begin at border checkpoints, with special services representatives posing as border guards or using other disguises of any other Russian or Belarusian authority. In addition, Russian and Belarusian special services can obtain information important to them during a simple conversation.

In view of the above, the Security Service strongly advises Latvian citizens not to travel to Russia and Belarus during the upcoming holidays. However, if citizens of Latvia do need to travel to these countries, the service recommends that they do not take their mobile phones with them, especially if they contain work-related or sensitive information.

At border checkpoints, mobile phones can be used to obtain data and can be infected with spyware. A mobile phone with a prepaid card that can be discarded after the trip is a safer choice. People traveling to Russia or Belarus should also avoid taking computers, flash drives and other storage media for the trip.

The Security Service also calls on Latvian citizens traveling to Russia or Belarus to take note of signs that may indicate contact with a Russian or Belarusian special services agent at a border checkpoint.

In this case, Latvian citizens are advised to report it to the Security Service by calling the 24-hour hotline 67208964 or writing to [email protected]. The Security Service guarantees confidentiality of all persons providing such information.