In response to the prevailing unstable conditions in Russia, Latvia has taken the decision to halt the issuance of visas to Russian nationals. Also, the country is set to bolster its border control measures in light of the aborted uprising of the controversial “Wagner” group in Russia and its leader’s supposed exile to neighboring Belarus.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia announced the visa restrictions through its official website.

Discussions held on June 24 between Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia shed light on the situation in Russia, specifically concerning an alleged coup d'état attempt led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the chief of the "Wagner" group.

While Prigozhin ceased his assault on Moscow, his relocation to Belarus has raised concerns and prompted coordinated actions among the Baltic countries. 

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During a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union, Edgars Rinkevičs, Latvia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, emphasized that the movement towards Belarus poses a direct security challenge not only to Ukraine but also to EU member states, including Latvia.

The impediments faced by Russian citizens in obtaining EU visas have been evident since 2022, following the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces. As a result, Latvia, along with Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Denmark, Belgium, and the Netherlands, ceased accepting tourist visa applications from Russian nationals.

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