The Latvian traffic and communications industry has provided support to Ukrainian civilians who came to Latvia seeking refuge from Russian hostilities in their homes. The assistance provided includes free public transport, opportunities to start work in the industry and relief in receiving mail, as well as charity actions to support Ukrainian freedom fighters and Ukrainians who have taken refuge in Latvia.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine more than 737,000 free rides have been provided to the Ukrainian civilians in regional public transport such as buses and trains, according to the information collected by state-owned Road Transport Administration Ltd (RTA).
Fare concessions for citizens of Ukraine in the public transport of city municipalities are determined by the municipalities themselves. 11,000 Ukrainian citizens registered in Riga have received a 100% discount on public transport in Riga.
Opportunity to work in transport industry
More than 120 Ukrainian citizens who have used the option of simplified registration were registered in the Taxi Driver Register (TDR), according to RTA data.
Similarly, the Seamen’s Register of state-owned Maritime Administration of Latvia Ltd (LMA) has issued 15 seaman’s discharge books and 14 certificates of competence through a simplified procedure.
With a vehicle registered in Ukraine, one may participate in road traffic in Latvia for three months from the moment of entry, without registering the vehicle in the Road Traffic Safety Directorate (RTSD) register.
Easier reception of postal services
State-owned JSC “Latvijas Pasts” (Latvian Post) continues to provide the exchange of parcels with Ukraine, as well as the logistics of Ukrainian postal parcels through Riga to several European countries by facilitating faster processing and sending of these parcels.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Latvian Post has opened about 1,600 accounts for Ukrainian citizens, of which 1,260 accounts were opened free of charge. For maximally convenient opening of accounts in the Postal settlement system, the opening process and procedures for citizens of Ukraine have been greatly simplified. Free money transfers with credit to a bank account are provided to Ukraine.
Similarly, a simplified procedure has been established for receiving postal items with personal belongings at the Latvian Post offices. Since the introduction of the free customs clearance process, around 850 shipments have been cleared free of charge for Ukrainian nationals from April 2022.
About 30 free authorizations have been issued to citizens of Ukraine for easier delivery of parcels at post offices.
Civilians of Ukraine can visit the Latvian Railway History Museum free of charge. More than 920 Ukrainian civilians have already used this opportunity.
Industry charity campaigns
In response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Latvian Post issued a block of three stamps and a special envelope in support of Ukraine. Fifty percent of the proceeds from the sale of the block of stamps are donated to the Ukrainian support program of the charity fund Ziedot.lv. So far, almost 17,000 euros have been donated from the sale of stamps.
The Latvian Post offices also accept shipments containing batteries and accumulators to addressees in Ukraine by responding to the call of the Ukrainian Postal Company Ukrposhta until 31 March 2023. This is an exception because items of this type may not be placed in postal shipments to other countries.
The Latvian Post together with non-governmental organizations has already actively participated in two campaigns “Knitting in support of Ukraine” by calling for donations of handicrafts. In total, during the two campaigns, Latvian residents donated and delivered more than 10,000 kilograms of knitwear to post offices.
The Riga Public Transportation Company “Rīgas satiksme” has also donated and delivered 21 buses in total to Ukraine. There were 11 buses delivered in the spring of 2022, and another 10 buses at the beginning of 2023.
Also, essential goods prepared by the employees of the Ministry of Transport and its joint-stock companies were delivered to Ukraine by "Rīgas satiksme" buses.