Lithuania seizes car with Russian license plates at border for first time

The first vehicle with Russian registration plates was detained for the first time, the country’s customs service reported on 12 March.

Lithuanian Customs issued a directive earlier in March, requiring cars registered in Russia to leave Lithuania and all EU territory by 11 March. Otherwise, they are subject to administrative responsibility in Lithuania, which includes a fine and possible confiscation of the vehicle.

A citizen of Moldova arrived on 11 March at the Myadininkai border crossing point, intending to leave Lithuania for Belarus. However, the documents provided revealed that the car’s owner was a Russian citizen. Customs explained that cars with Russian license plates that entered Lithuania before the introduction of this rule had to leave within six months.

In September 2023, Latvia adopted amendments to the road traffic legislation, which prohibits the presence of vehicles with Russian license plates in the country.

In September 2023, the Latvian government planned to introduce a plan that allowed owners of vehicles registered with Russian and Belarusian license plates to register their vehicle in Latvia or remove it from the country within three months of the law taking effect. Otherwise, the vehicle could be confiscated and a fine imposed. The authors of the bill proposed handing over all confiscated cars to Ukraine.

Exceptions include vehicles of Russian diplomatic and consular services and vehicles passing through Lithuania in transit within 24 hours.

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