Poland has commenced the enforcement of a European Union ban that prohibits all Russian-registered passenger cars from entering the country, marking the latest in a series of sanctions imposed on Russia due to its ongoing conflict in Ukraine, DW reports.
Under this EU directive, vehicles registered in the Russian Federation are now barred from entering the territory of the 27-member bloc. Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski announced this restriction, emphasizing that any car registered in Russia is no longer permitted to enter Poland.
"This is another element of the sanctions imposed on Russia and its citizens in connection with the brutal war in Ukraine, due to the fact that the Russian state today constitutes a threat to international security," he added.
This move follows a similar decision made by neighboring Baltic states, including Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, which collectively banned vehicles bearing Russian license plates from their territories. These actions align with the EU's sanctions against Moscow. Poland and the Baltic states have been vocal critics of Russia and its President, Vladimir Putin.
Poland shares a land border with Russia's Kaliningrad territory, an exclave separated from the Russian mainland. The Border Guard agency clarified that the ban applies uniformly, regardless of which border the vehicles intend to cross.
In addition to Kaliningrad, Poland shares borders with Belarus and Ukraine to the east. It has EU and NATO allies as neighbors, including Germany, Slovakia, Czechia, and Lithuania, where border checks are not conducted.
The Border Guard's official website outlined that cars with Russian registrations "will be returned to the non-EU country from which they came, regardless of whether it is Russia or another country. Such actions will be carried out even if the driver of the car is not a citizen of the Russian Federation."