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Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ban entry of vehicles with Russian license plates

Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia on Wednesday banned vehicles with Russian license plates from entering their respective countries, with the three Baltic states citing the move in line with updated European Commission guidelines.

"At present, Russian citizens can cross the border only with valid travel documents, either by bus or on foot," said Jovita Neliupsiene, Lithuania's vice minister of Foreign Affairs, in a statement.

However, she added, vehicles going to Kaliningrad, a Russian territory with no land connection to Russia and located on the Baltic Sea coast between Lithuania and Poland, will be exempt from the ban.

Meanwhile, Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said in a separate statement that "the decision to ban vehicles with Russian license plates from entering Estonia is the right thing to do, and I am glad that the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Finance have promptly implemented it."

Tsahkna added that the updated guidelines of the European Commission on vehicles with Russian license plates are completely in line with Estonia’s foreign policy interests, positions, and sanctions policy.

“We cannot allow citizens of an aggressor state to enjoy the benefits offered by freedom and democracy while Russia continues its ‘genocide’ in Ukraine,” he added.

Noting that he will hold a video conference meeting with neighboring countries, he said the issue will be the first item on the agenda.


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