In the event of crisis situations NATO forces will be able to deploy in Latvia from beyond its border, as provided by amendments to the Latvian State Border Law the government will discuss on 16 July.
Amendments state that people who arrive in Latvia as part of NATO forces to provide assistance in emergency situations or in exceptional cases, including while taking part in exercises, will be able to cross Latvia’s border outside official external border crossing points after receiving permission from the State Border Guard.
Amendments also state that National Armed Forces will inform the State Border Guard of the need to cross the country’s external border outside official border-crossing points, as well as coordinate the time and place.
Latvia’s Defence Ministry explains that currently all persons, including military persons, crossing the border are subjected to examinations at checkpoints.
At border-crossing points that lack border-monitoring authorities, including Lielvarde Air Force Base, border inspections are performed once information regarding and border-crossing time and inspection has been coordinated. Military personnel also arrive in Latvia using Riga International Airport, where they undergo examination.
Cases when arrival in the country is performed using some different method, such as air or marine deployment, are not yet outlined on a legislative level.
Amendments will ensure that in situations when NATO forces from countries not part of the Schengen Area arrive in Latvia and they have to reach their destination as quickly as possible to engage in combat or military exercises, border inspection will be performed at the location that was agreed upon in advance.