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Friday 30.09.2016 | Name days: Menarda, Elma, Elna
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Criminal liability will be applied for serving in foreign army or police force

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUTo reduce possible security risks in relation to military service in third countries, Latvian citizens and non-citizens will be prohibited from serving in foreign armies, police and security institutions. Breach of this prohibition will carry criminal liability with a sentence of up to four years in prison.

This is provided by amendments to the National Security Law and Criminal Law, which were supported by the parliament in the first reading on 22 September.

Amendments provide a prohibition for Latvian citizens to serve in foreign armed forces, interior forces, military organizations, security services, police or institutions of judicial power. This will not apply to service in the European Union, NATO, European Free Trade Association member states, as well as services of the European Free Trade Association, as well as the Australian Union, the Federative Republic of Brazil or New Zealand.

Exceptions will be made for citizens with double citizenship who are in service to the other country in which they have citizenship.

Service in foreign countries will be strictly prohibited to non-citizens, authors of amendments say.

Changes were developed to limit the possibility for citizens and non-citizens to gain combat experience in foreign countries. Because that could potentially have an effect on Latvia’s security situation, defensive capabilities, international reputation and create counter-intelligence risks, as previously noted by authors of the legislative draft. There is a high degree of risk that people who had illegally gained combat experience while serving in foreign countries could try to use their knowledge and skills against Latvia and its allies.

It is expected that amendments will come into force on 1 January 2017.

The Saeima still has to review amendments to the National Security Law and Criminal Law in two more readings.

Ref: 102.109.109.5099


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