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Latvia extends an entry ban on Russian tourists until March 2025 citing Moscow's war in Ukraine

HELSINKI (AP) — Latvia’s government has extended restrictions on the entry of Russian citizens into the Baltic country until next year, citing Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine which officials say is “still posing a threat to the internal security of Latvia.”

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Evika Siliņa decided Tuesday to lengthen the entry conditions on Russian citizens until March 4, 2025.

Russian citizens will continue to be banned from entering Latvia, a European Union country, for the purposes of tourism and leisure, the government said in a statement.

However, some Russians will be permitted to enter, including those with residence permits valid in Latvia or another EU member state, or Russians whose entry is related to humanitarian considerations like political dissidents.

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In September 2022, Poland and the Baltic states — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — reached a joint agreement to restrict the numbers of Russian citizens coming to their countries to prevent alleged security risks amid Russia’s war in nearby Ukraine.

NATO member Latvia, a country of 1.9 million people that borders Russia, is home to a sizable ethnic Russian minority that makes up about 25% of the country's population. The Baltic Sea nation previously has been a popular vacation venue and its capital, Riga, a popular weekend destination for Russian tourists.

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Follow the AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

The Associated Press