The Belarusian State Border Committee has announced that from 15 April to 15 May 2022, Latvian nationals will be permitted to enter Belarus without a visa through border crossing points at the land border. The Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to remind about significant risks to Latvian nationals visiting the country, and repeatedly advises against doing that. The call on the Latvian nationals to leave Belarus and Russia continues to apply.

In view of the Lukashenko regime’s violent crack-down on citizens’ freedoms in its country, and the recent operation of launching a hybrid attack on our borders by organising illegal border crossings, the Foreign Ministry has no reason to believe that the offer to visit Belarus visa-free has been made for humanitarian reasons or with good intentions. We would like to remind you that the Lukashenko regime still supports the aggression by the Russian Federation on Ukraine, and has been targeted by serious international sanctions.

The Ministry would like to draw attention to the fact that the intelligence services of Latvia and other NATO member states have warned the public about the intelligence activities and attempts of recruitment of the neighbouring countries’ citizens by the intelligence agencies of Russia and Belarus. Therefore, there is serious risk that such activities would also target Latvian nationals who have used the opportunity of a visa-free entry offered by Belarus. Such travellers are facing the risk of provocations on the part of Belarusian special services, of being wrongfully accused of violating Belarusian law, and arrested as the result. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs warns that due to the overall absence of the rule of law in Belarus, the ability of Latvia to provide assistance to its nationals would be very limited.