Estonia Also Bans Entry of Russian Vehicles: All Baltic Countries Restrict Russian Private Automotive Transport
On Wednesday, September 13, starting from 10:00 AM, Estonia implemented a ban on the entry of vehicles with Russian Federation license plates. This move marks the collective response of all three Baltic countries to the recommendations of the European Commission. Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna announced this on his Twitter account.
"Starting today, Estonia prohibits the entry of all vehicles registered in Russia. They are not invited here to enjoy privileges that freedom can offer until Ukraine achieves victory," wrote Margus Tsahkna of Estonia.
According to the recommendations of the European Commission, European Union member states are not allowed to admit private vehicles with Russian license plates onto their territory. If a vehicle with Russian license plates attempts to enter a border checkpoint, the Estonian Tax and Customs Board will carry out the necessary procedures. The owner of the vehicle or its driver has a choice: to return to Russia with the vehicle or cross the border without it.
The entry ban on automotive transport applies regardless of whether the owner or user is in Estonia or the European Union. Vehicles with Russian license plates are permitted to leave Estonia through external borders or cross internal borders within the European Union.
On September 8, the European Commission provided clarifications regarding existing restrictions on the import and export of goods to and from Russia. They specified that these restrictions apply to, among other things, vehicles, regardless of whether they are personal property of travelers.
Following this clarification, Lithuania decided to stop admitting vehicles with Russian registration, with the exception of those traveling in transit to the Kaliningrad Oblast. Latvia joined this decision after Lithuania.
"Today [September 13], I will also meet with representatives of other border countries via video link to discuss this issue. As a country bordering Russia, it is important for Estonia to implement these restrictions in cooperation with our neighbors, and I welcome the fact that Latvia and Lithuania have already taken a similar decision. When restrictions are applied collectively, they are more effective and raise the cost of aggression for Russia," said Margus Tsahkna.
The Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs also noted that his country cannot assist citizens of the aggressor country in enjoying the benefits of freedom and democracy while Russia continues its aggression in Ukraine.