Security Service warns against holiday trips to Russia and Belarus

  • 2022-12-22
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Considering current security risks in the region associated with Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine, as well as Russia's aggressive anti-Latvian rhetoric, the State Security Service advises residents of Latvia against traveling to Russia and Belarus during the upcoming winter holidays, LETA was told at the Security Service. 

The Security Service repeatedly warns that agents of these countries' intelligence services  typically approach and try to recruit Latvian citizens in their territory. 

The first contact usually takes place at the border, with the agents of intelligence services posing as border guards, but the undercover agents can just as well present themselves as representatives of other institutions or municipal authorities. 

The Security Service therefore recommends caution when coming into contact with any Russian or Belarusian state or municipal authorities, as well as persons working in state-controlled enterprises, higher education and research institutions or the IT sector. 

Because of the high risks, the Security Service advises everyone crossing the Russian or Belarusian border to exert caution and report any suspicious situations to the Security Service. Suspicious situations may involve increased examination and questioning by Russian or Belarusian officials, as well as accessing the traveling person's electronic devises. 

The Security Service also asks people to report cases where they have been wrongfully accused of committing a violation or offense in Russia or Belarus, as well as proposals to collaborate with Russian or Belarusian intelligence services.