State Border Guard
|State Border Guard|
Emblem of the State Border Guard
|Governing body||Minister of the Interior|
|Headquarters||Rūdolfa iela 5, Riga|
The State Border Guard is an institution subordinated to the Minister of the Interior. The State Border Guard is an armed institution and it serves to ensure the security of the state border and to prevent illegal migration.
Every day more than 2000 border guards and employees of the State Border Guard fulfil their duties of service. Currently the State Border Guard comprises the Central Board, territorial boards, including the Aviation Board. The State Border Guard College is an institution of higher education under the authority of the State Border Guard.
The State Border Guard ensures surveillance of 276 km long border between the Republic of Latvia and Russian Federation, 172,9 km long border between the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Belarus, and 498 km long sea border (external EU border), as well as monitoring of 343 km long border between the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Estonia and 588 km long border between the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Lithuania (internal EU border).
On November 18, 1918 the People’s Council proclaiming independence of the Republic of Latvia as well declared temporary newly established state border. For the purposes of its protection on 7 November 1919 Jānis Balodis, Latvian Army Commander-in-Chief, issued an order to form border guard units. The activities of border guards were based on the internal border guarding provisional regulations of the People’s Council, issued on 5 December 1918.
On 8 November 1920 the Border Guard was renamed to the Border Guard Division and it was charged with border guarding.
On 2 February 1922 the Cabinet decided to disembody the Border Guard Division and to assign border guarding functions to the Ministry of the Interior. On 10 March of the same year the newly established Border Police took over the border guarding functions from the Border Guard Division.
In 1935 the Cabinet adopted a Law on State Border Guarding. Within the Ministry of the Interior
on 6 April 1935 a separate military unit was created – the Border Guard Brigade, Ludvigs Bolšteins was appointed its Commander.
On 3 October 1940 A.Noviks, People’s Commissar of Latvian SSR, signed an order on disbandment of the Border Guard Battalions and discharge of border guards from their positions. On 10 October 1940 the Border Guard Brigade of the Republic of Latvia was liquidated.
On 20 December 1990 the Supreme Soviet adopted a Law “On State Border of the Republic of Latvia”. On 7 November 1991 the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Latvia approved the Regulations on the Order of Taking the Oath of Latvian Republic’s Soldier. On 11 November 1991 the first border guards of restored Latvian Republic took soldier’s oath in “Brāļu Kapi” of Riga.
When Latvia reinstated its independence in 1991 the State border was renewed. The State border is determined by agreements entered into by the Republic of Latvia up to 16 June 1940, as well as subsequently entered into bilateral agreements regarding the renewal or determination of the border.
13 December 1991 is the date of de facto renewal of the Border Guard, as by the order of the Minister of Defence of 13 December 1991 No 4-V “On Formation, Determination of Responsibilities, Structure and Staff of the Border Guard Battalions“ the Border Guard Military Units Board of the Republic of Latvia was established, which further have to assume the control functions on the Border Guard Battalions, the Separate Border Control Point and Training Center of Border Guard Military Units. By this order the state border guarding was entrusted to seven Border Guard Battalions – Valmiera’s, Viļaka’s, Ludza’s, Daugavpils’, Jelgava’s, Liepāja’s, Ventspils’ and Riga’s Separate Border Control Points.
By the establishment of the Border Guard Battalions real work was started on development of border guarding system – marking the border on the nature, creation of material-technical base to ensure border control and living conditions for border guards, formulation of regulations and rules.
The restoration of guarding of border of the Republic of Latvia was started by organising control points at roads and taking over functions from the soviet border guard military units in ports and airports, it was based on the Latvian Republic Council of Ministers’ decision of 29 January 1992 “On Ensuring Takeover and Guarding of the State Border of the Republic of Latvia”.
By the order of the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Latvia from 1 February 1922 the Border Guard Brigade of Defence Forces of the Defence Ministry was established by uniting 7 border battalions, Riga’s Separate Border Control Points and Vārve’s Training Centre. By the order of Defence Minister of 23 November 1995 the Border Guard Brigade of the National Armed Forces was reorganized into the Border Guard Forces. From 7 January 1997 the Border Guard Forces are existing under the subordination of the Ministry of the Interior and staff is employed to serve in the Ministry of the Interior.
From 14 February 1997 the Border Guard Forces were renamed the Border Guard of the Ministry of the Interior. From 1 May 1998 the Border Guard named the State Border Guard.
From 7 April 2009 General Normunds Garbars leads the State Border Guard.
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