The Bulgarian government has decided that from Monday evening, the ban on the entry of cars with Russian license plates into the territory of Bulgaria will come into effect. It was first reported by the Bulgarian state television, referring to the statement of the director of the Bulgarian border guard, Anton Zlatanov.
The director of the border guard pointed out that the entry ban for trucks has been in effect for several months. At the same time, he could not say how many cars with Russian license plates entered Bulgaria since the beginning of the year. However, according to him, it was a “small number”.
TASS wrote that the Russian embassy in Bulgaria has not yet received official information about the upcoming ban. “The Bulgarian authorities have not yet informed our consular services,” said a representative of the embassy in Sofia.
A similar ban already applies in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Finland, and from October 3rd it will also apply in Norway. Countries adopted it on the basis of sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union after the start of the invasion of Ukraine.
In some of the countries mentioned above, the ban does not apply to all cars registered in Russia. For example, in Finland, the ban does not apply to EU citizens with permanent residence in Russia. At the same time, it does not restrict the entry of cars with diplomatic or humanitarian markings.
Especially in the Baltic countries, there are much more “Russian” vehicles. Lithuanian authorities have urged owners of cars with Russian registration plates to sell them within six months. This measure applies to all cars imported into the country before September 11 of this year. If the regulation is violated, the Lithuanian authorities can impose a fine or confiscate the car.
Latvia has also adopted a similar measure. However, Riga is preparing a law that will allow the confiscation of cars with Belarusian license plates. According to the Latvian government, under the new law, all cars with registrations in these two countries that the owner does not register in Latvia or another country outside of the two mentioned above will be confiscated, if the car with the prohibited registration does not leave the country within three months.
Voting on the law is not yet on the agenda of the Latvian parliament. However, it can be assumed that the country will follow Lithuania.
Another Baltic state, Estonia, is also considering a similar measure. Estonian Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets spoke about the possibility of confiscating cars with Russian registration. However, at the moment, according to him, it is “only his personal opinion and he cannot speak for the entire government”.