Latvia and Estonia to tighten border control with Russia amid Putin’s “elections”

March 14,2024 543
Latvia and Estonia to tighten border control with Russia amid Putin’s “elections”

Latvia and Estonia will tighten border checks with Russia during the so-called Russian presidential “elections,” border services in both countries reported. The relevant authorities aim to avoid provocations from the Russian side.

Special attention will be paid to checks on Russian citizens, stated the head of the Latvian Border Guard, Guntis Pujāts, in an interview with LSM. Therefore, travelers crossing the state border should be prepared for delays, said the head of the border guard bureau of the Ida-Viru prefecture in Estonia, Eerik Purgel, in a comment to Delfi.

“The police do not recommend anyone to visit Russia, especially for the purpose of voting in the “elections.” These are not free elections; their winner has long been known. You cannot influence this with your vote. During border crossings, there is a risk that the Russian border service, which is part of the FSB, may extensively interrogate those crossing the border and, for example, check the electronic devices they have with them,” said Purgel.

Any use of pro-aggression symbols will be watched for. Border guards and police from Baltic countries have discussed security risks for the upcoming weekends to discuss joint methods and coordinate actions.

In Latvia’s Riga, all citizens arriving at the Russian embassy polling station will be checked. Earlier, the foreign ministers of the Baltic countries condemned Russia’s plans to hold the so-called elections in the occupied territories of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, in the temporarily occupied territories, Russians are already completing lists of those who supposedly will vote according to their place of residence, as reported by the National Resistance Center.

“The procedure for collecting applications for voting according to the place of residence is a screen that will allow collaborators accompanied by military personnel to “legalize” bypassing Ukrainian buildings. Most applications are fake from “dead souls” and are needed to boost turnout artificially and lay out a route for members of ‘electoral commissions’ that covers all buildings,” emphasized the NRC.

Cover: LETA, Ieva Čīka

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