Estonian border guards send back first Russia-licensed vehicle

Luhamaa border checkpoint in Southeastern Estonia.
Luhamaa border checkpoint in Southeastern Estonia. Source: ERR

The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) on Thursday returned the first Russian-registered car since the ban on vehicles bearing Russian Federation license plates entered into force last week.

The PPA, together with officials from the Tax and Customs Board (MTA), apprehended the vehicle at the Luhamaa crossing in Southeastern Estonia.

The vehicle's driver had claimed to be a Russian embassy staff member – and thus exempt from the entry ban – but upon closer inspection this turned out not to be the case; the occupant carried a regular Russian passport and the vehicle was not displaying diplomatic plates.

The driver was then informed of the ban on cars bearing Russian license plates from crossing the border into Estonia and thus the EU, and officials outlined the details of the current sanctions regime.

Location of the Koidula and Luhamaa border checkpoints, in southeastern Estonia. Source: Google Maps

The driver then turned round and drove back into the Russian Federation of their own volition, ERR reports.

The ban came into effect on Wednesday, September 13.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael

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