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10 Sep, 2023 22:55

Russia tells citizens to avoid car travel to EU state

The embassy says the Finnish authorities could seize privately owned vehicles
Russia tells citizens to avoid car travel to EU state

The Russian Embassy in Helsinki has urged citizens not to travel to Finland in cars with Russian license plates, citing recently-confirmed EU sanctions that allow the seizure of personal vehicles. 

“Considering the potential risks, we recommend Russian nationals avoid traveling to Finland with cars with Russian license plates,” the embassy said in a statement on its website on Sunday.

The notice came after the European Commission confirmed that Russians are banned from bringing any vehicles across the bloc’s borders, even for personal use or short-term tourist trips. 

German media reported earlier this year that police and customs agents were seizing cars registered in Russia. Recent immigrants to Germany were among those who had their property confiscated. On Monday, the Russian Embassy in Berlin warned citizens against traveling to Germany, citing the “seizure” of cars.

The EU first introduced sanctions against Moscow in 2014, after Crimea voted to leave Ukraine and join Russia in the wake of the Western-backed coup in Kiev. The restrictions were greatly expanded since Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022.

Moscow has repeatedly denounced the sanctions as “illegal,” equating the seizure of Russian property and assets to “theft,” and promised retaliatory measures.