As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, Estonia has banned motor vehicles with Russian license plates from entering the country, as they are subject to EU sanctions, APA reports citing ERR News.
With this step, Estonia has adhered to new guidelines issued by the European Commission on Friday, September 8 regarding the enforcement of existing sanctions, according to which which EU 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.
"Sanctions against Russia have one goal —to force the aggressor state to retreat to its state borders," Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets (SDE) said Wednesday, commenting on the move.
"Insofar as the European Commission newly further clarified the current sanction and Estonia considers it necessary to utilize all opportunities to raise the price of aggression for Russia, we found in consultation with Latvian and Lithuanian authorities that restrictions are most effective when jointly enforcing sanctions," Läänemets continued.
In accordance with the Commission guidelines, the motor vehicle entry ban applies regardless of the owner or driver's grounds for their stay in Estonia or the EU. It nonetheless doesn't extend to vehicles owned by either EU citizens or their immediate family members.