European Union countries are stepping up their enforcement of sanctions against Russia as the Ukraine war stretches into its 19th month.
Earlier this month, the European Commission stated in an updated sanctions FAQ that vehicles registered in Russia are not allowed into the 27-member bloc.
“Motor vehicles are a category of goods prone to circumvention, hence national competent authorities need to pay particular attention to them,” according to the FAQ last updated on September 12.
Norway is the sole EU nation that has not yet implemented an entry ban. But it is planning to do so, NRK, the country’s public broadcaster, reported on September 19.
The EU also appeared to ban a range of other products from entering the bloc: from dual-use items that can be used for both civilian and military purposes, to everyday goods like mobile phones and toothpaste, per Reuters.
When asked about how the rules would be implemented, an EU spokesperson said earlier this month that clothes worn by travelers are unlikely to be used to circumvent sanctions, Reuters reported.
Russia has protested the EU’s updated interpretation of sanctions.
Other than banning Russia-registered vehicles, Latvia has gone one step further.
It’s looking to fine car owners who paste stickers on their vehicles with the message “I’m Russian,” or “strength is in truth,” or the Russian bear — which is all seen as “supportive symbolism of Russian aggression,” the LSM, Latvia’s public broadcaster reported on Wednesday.
People who display symbols glorifying military aggression and war crimes in public spaces face a fine of up to 350 euros, or $370, per the LSM. The penalty goes up to 700 euros if the offender doesn’t comply with police demands to remove the symbol, the media outlet added.
Russia’s foreign affairs ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.