Latvia
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Valga/Valka
 
   Latvia

This Baltic country is located between Estonia, Russia, Byelorussia and Lithuania. In the north on the Estonian border there is one twin city - Valka is the Latvian name and Valka on Estonian side.

In Riga in February 1938 Latvia and Poland signed the declaration about border delimitation. Yet even before that date the existence of a shared border considerably encouraged bilateral contacts: there were several border crossing and customs posts, Latvia and Poland were linked by rail traffic, etc. The border guards of both states exerted considerable effort to fight smuggling and occasionally co-operated across the border in this regard. As the Second World War begun in September 1939, over 1500 Polish military (being interned in Latvia) and several hundreds civilian refugees found shelter in Latvia. >From then on the part of Poland, which bordered on Latvia, was occupied by the USSR and the guard of that span of the border was considerably strengthened from the Latvian side. Latvian-Polish border was a definite factor that reflected the bilateral relations and relations in the entire region and stimulated particularly diverse and active contacts during the two decades.

Today 1350 km state border is dry. The Republic of Latvia has dry border with 4 countries: in north with Republic of Estonia (343 km), in east with Russian Federation (276 km), in southeast with the Republic of Byelorussia (161 km) and in south with Republic of Lithuania (576 km).

On March 20, 1993 Latvia and Estonia have concluded an agreement about the restoration of 337 km long boundary line. Construction of the united border-control checkpoint Valka-Valga on the territory of Latvia is planned at the Latvian-Estonian border.

On July 29, 1993 Latvia and Lithuania have concluded an agreement about the establishment of 576 km long boundary line. In spring 1995 a border post No.1 was installed on the Latvian-Lithuanian border near Pape. Later on the work on arrangement of the border was continued.

All the works on the border arrangement have been completed on the Latvian-Lithuanian and Latvian-Estonian borders by the end of 1998.

On 21 February 1994 Latvia and the Republic of Byelorussia have concluded an agreement on demarcation of 171 km long boundary line. On 1 April 1998 the contract with state enterprise "MELIOPROJEKTS" has been signed on demarcation of the Latvia-Byelorussia state boundary. On 16 May 1998 Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia Guntars Krasts and Prime minister of the Republic of Byelorussia Sergey Linga participated in the solemn installation of the 1-st border post of the Latvian-Byelorussian border at the Silene-Urbane border-control check-point. On 30 September 1998 the Kaplava border guard department complex has been opened and the construction of the Silene border guard department complex has been undertaken.

The question concerning the 292 km long border between the Latvian Republic and Russian Federation has not been legally settled yet. That is why the demarcation of the border has not been started. On 2 October 1988 Punduri border guard department and border-crossing point complex was opened in Baltinava pagast of Balvi district. In 1998 the first stage of reconstruction of Vilaka State border guard administration complex and construction of the State Border guard Canine training center at Rezekne border guard school have been set out. It is planned to launch these objects in 1999. Based upon the Rezekne border guard training center, established on 12 May 1992 the State Border guard Rezekne border guard school was created, which was accredited on 15 May  1998. Border guard college established at Latvia Police academy.

42 border-control points act in the Republic of Latvia, among them: 15 act on highways, 11 on a railway, 14 at sea terminals, and 2 at airports. To ensure easy crossing of the border for borderer and citizens of the Baltic States, 19 border-crossing points act on the Latvian border. All the border-control check-points are computerized.

There are no disagreements between Latvia and its neighbouring countries concerning the delimitation of the border. The demarcation of the border with the Republic of Estonia has been accomplished on 29 February 2000. The demarcation has been completed on the Latvian – Lithuanian border and necessary documents was planned to be finalised by the end of 2001.

There is no border agreement signed with the Russian Federation. However, the Latvian side has prepared a draft agreement on the state border with the Russian Federation, which has been approved by the Latvian Government. The demarcation of the Latvian-Belarus border is still under way.

Sources: 
Jēkabsons, Ē. Latvijas un Polijas robeža 1919.-1939. gadā. Daugavpils Universitātes Humanitārās fakultātes XII Zinātnisko lasījumu materiāli. Vēsture. VI sējums, I daļa. Daugavpils: Daugavpils Universitātes izdevniecība Saule, 2003. 132 lpp.>69.-79.lpp.
http://www.historia.lv/publikacijas/konf/daugp/012/1dala/jekabson.htm

Abstracts from «History of Latvia independency border guarding»
http://www.rs.gov.lv/en/par/vesture.htm

Position paper of the Republic of Latvia to the European Union - Chapter 24 “Co-operation in the fields of Justice and Home Affairs”
http://www.pd.gov.lv/ES/Position_Paper.doc

This page was last time updated 17.09.12 .