Estonian FM: Border states to discuss Russian car entry ban later this week

Koidula border checkpoint in Setomaa, Southeastern Estonia. September 1, 2023.
Koidula border checkpoint in Setomaa, Southeastern Estonia. September 1, 2023. Source: Aili Vahtla/ERR

EU member states sharing a border with Russia are set to discuss later this week how to implement the European Commission's updated guideline to prohibit cars with Russian license plates from entering the EU, Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) said Tuesday, noting that Estonia wants to stick to the guideline.

"The European Commission's updated guideline regarding cars with Russian license plates supports our objectives in curbing Russian aggression and strengthening the enforcement of sanctions, and Estonia intends to adhere to the Commission's guidance, as that has been our policy," Tsahkna said according to a spokesperson.

"This week, border states will discuss the European Commission's guideline regarding cars with Russian plates in order to determine a common means of implementing it," he added.

On Friday, September 8, the European Commission issued new guidelines (link to PDF) for the enforcement of sanctions, under which member states may not allow cars with Russian license plates into the EU. This ban applies not just to private vehicles, but also to company transport operations. Enforcement of these sanctions is mandatory for member states.

"Restrictions are more effective when applied collectively, and this gives us the opportunity to raise the price of aggression for Russia even further," the foreign minister said.

Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets (SDE) said Monday that implementing the guideline may take time, and that border states should do so together.

Speaking to ERR last week, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said that Estonia wants countries neighboring Russia to implement a common trade embargo, but negotiations on that front have been unsuccessful thus far, and the key player in this plan is Finland.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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