Government officials in Latvia announced that the cross-border deal with Russia that simplified travel between two countries for people living in border regions has been suspended effective August 1, 2022.
Latvian government officials explained the travel agreement had been halted due to the closure of the Latvian consulate in Russia’s north-western city of Pskov, which had been the only diplomatic mission that issued papers to Russians in accordance with the simplified scheme.
According to the officials, the decision to freeze the agreement, which had been signed between Russia and Latvia in 2010, was made a few weeks ago and it has now officially gone into force.
Russia shut down Latvian consulate in Pskov and declared all its staff personae non grata in April, claiming that it was a tit-for-tat move and accusing Latvia and its Baltic neighbors in providing military aid and support to Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression.
Latvia had stopped issuing entry visas to Russian citizens, including residents of border areas, after the start of Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
The relationship between the EU state and Russia have been steadily deteriorating ever since.
Yesterday, Latvia’s Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics reiterated his call on other European Union member-states to follow Riga and ban access to EU for Russian nationals.
Minister Rinkevics has called on the EU to suspend tourist visas for Russian citizens.
The day before, Russian gas giant Gazprom said that it had halted deliveries to Latvia due to “violations of the terms of gas extraction.”
Earlier, Latvia refused to comply with Russia’s illegal demand to pay for gas deliveries in Russian rubles instead of Euros or US dollars.