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Lithuania announces deadline for Russian-registered cars to leave country

by Abbey Fenbert and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 3, 2024 2:14 AM 2 min read
Vehicles and bike riders at a Lithuanian border crossing on Aug. 12, 2023. (Petras Malukas/AFP via Getty Images)
Cars and people with bicycles wait at the Sumskas border crossing point between Lithuania and Belarus on Aug. 12, 2023. (Petras Malukas/AFP via Getty Images)
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Lithuanian Customs announced that all persons with Russian-registered vehicles have until March 11 to re-register the cars in Lithuania or leave the country and the EU altogether.

Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia all banned entry to vehicles with Russian registration in September 2023, following a recommendation from the European Commission.

According to Lithuanian Customs, drivers of vehicles with Russian license plates must apply for Lithuanian registration, or leave the country "and the entire territory of the European Union" by March 11.

Beyond the deadline, drivers of vehicles with Russian registration are subject to a fine and confiscation of the car.

An exception applies to Russian citizens traveling to or from the Russian exclave Kaliningrad with a simplified transit document. These drivers are allowed transit through Lithuania as long as the journey does not exceed 24 hours, and the registered driver of the vehicle is present.

The European Commission issued a guideline on Sept. 8 regarding sanctions imposed against Russia over its aggression against Ukraine. According to the document, if Russian citizens enter the European Union in their own vehicles, it will be considered an illegal import and their cars can be confiscated regardless of the purpose or period of the expected stay.

Poland and Finland issued their own entry bans on Russian vehicles following the recommendation.

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