Russian, Belarusian haulers can no longer enter Estonia, EU

Trucks. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

From Saturday (April 9), Russian and Belarusian road haulers can no longer enter the European Union to transport goods due to sanctions placed on the countries.

Trucks that crossed the border into the EU yesterday must return by April 16 at the latest.  

The measure is part of EU sanctions which entered into force today, Minister of  Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas (Center) said in a statement.

He said the full effect of the sanction will become clear in the coming weeks.

"Certainly, some of our entrepreneurs will not receive the goods they have ordered, but all business activities that are in some way related to our eastern neighbor have always involved risks," said Aas.

Aas said the sanction applies across Europe, as requested by Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, but "unfortunately" exemptions exist.

"Time will tell whether and to what extent the member states want to create exceptions, but hopefully this will not open the door to circumvent sanctions and the meaning of the sanctions will not disappear," he said.

Member states can grant exceptions for the purchase, transport of import of natural gas and petroleum, titanium, aluminum, copper, nickel, palladium and iron ore "where appropriate".  

Additionally, it will be possible to create exceptions to purchase, import or transport pharmaceuticals, medicine, agriculture and foodstuffs, including wheat, and for humanitarian purposes.

The EU adopted its fifth package of sanctions on April 8.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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