Narva businesses concerned by Russian counter-sanction cargo transport ban

The bridge in Narva connecting Estonia and Russia.
The bridge in Narva connecting Estonia and Russia. Source: ERR

Businesses in the Estonian border town Narva are concerned about impending Russian counter-sanctions which will ban the transport of cargo from 30 countries.

From October 10, Russia will implement a ban on two-way transportation, transit, and transportation from or to a third country, Interfax reported

Countries that have applied sanctions on Russian after its full-scale invasion of Ukraine will be affected. This includes the EU, UK, Norway and Ukraine.

The new rules are likely to have a significant impact on Estonian businesses, especially those in eastern Estonia.

Nikolai Burdakov, head of Narva Auto, the largest transportation company in Narva, has no doubt that it will. The company employs 50 people.

"Almost 100 percent of our work is freight transport between Europe and Russia. That is why the new bans will make our work more difficult," Burdakov told ERR, adding new rules have not yet been clarified.

The restrictions will allow certain goods to be unloaded and reloaded in the border zone. The ban will not apply to food and medicine.

The company must now look for partners in Russia who can be trusted to deliver their goods to customers. 

Another counter-sanction, restriction on the export of diesel fuel from Russia, also causes concern.

"When we leave Russia, we can take only 200 liters of fuel. This is enough for about 200 or 300 kilometers, which is why we have to refuel with more expensive fuel. So we are less competitive than other carriers," Burdakov said.

Trucks from European countries must leave Russia by October 17 and the ban is valid until the end of the year.

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Editor: Mirjam Mäekivi, Helen Wright

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