Prime Minister Karins stated that this step is intended to drastically reduce the number of people who could constitute a national security risk.
On Tuesday, Latvia announced that it is abandoning an agreement with Russia to facilitate cross-border travel and the issuance of visas for citizens of both countries that dates back to 1993.
Although Latvia has already stopped issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens and only accepts Russian visitors in special circumstances, the cancellation of the 1993 agreement removes all formal obligations to favor freedom of movement between Russia and the Baltic country.
Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins stated that this step is intended to drastically reduce the number of people who could constitute a risk to national security.
"It will reduce the opportunities for representatives of the aggressor State to come to our territory," he said during a press conference held after a meeting of the council of ministers.
Biden’s sanctions are failing. Russia’s energy revenue is higher now than before they invaded Ukraine. This is a supply issue. Biden created it, Russia is profiting from it. The result? The people of Europe are facing an energy crisis, and we are next. pic.twitter.com/plSXEQAvrK— Tulsi Gabbard �� (@TulsiGabbard) August 16, 2022
Karins also indicated that authorities are discussing the possibility of restricting the movements of Russian citizens and to stop issuing temporary residence permits to them.
A large number of these permits, which authorize residence in Latvia and travel freely in the European Union (EU), were granted under previous governments to citizens of third countries who made large investments in the Baltic country. Now they will no longer renew automatically.
Karins specified that residence permits for Russian citizens married to Latvian citizens will now only be issued if the Russian spouse passes a Latvian language test.