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Coalition supports idea of seizing cars with Russian, Belarusian plates

In several countries, cars with Russian license plates are no longer allowed in, and there is currently discussion about how to treat those cars that were able to enter the European Union before the ban. Latvia is working on a framework that will determine the timeframe before these cars must be registered in Latvia or they should leave the territory of our country, as agreed on by the coalition on Monday, September 25.

The coalition has agreed on additional sanctions on cars in Latvia with Russian or Belarusian license plates, politicians told journalists after the meeting Monday.

Since Latvia, like several other European Union countries, decided that cars registered in Russia should not enter the country's territory, five cars have been stopped on the border of Latvia. However, the national authorities do not have answers to the question of the number of cars that entered before the ban and continue to stay here.

The Ministry of Justice is currently developing a framework for the seizure of cars registered in Russia and Belarus. The offer provides for the possibility to re-register the car in Latvia or to leave the country within a specified time period. The Road Traffic Safety Directorate (CSDD) says it could be three months.

“Given that currently these vehicles are no longer allowed into Latvia, there is a period within three months when it would be necessary, so to speak, to re-register or to get the vehicle out. It is in the hands of the Ministry of Justice how this seizure could proceed,“ noted CSDD spokesman Mārtiņš Mālmeisters.

In recent weeks, however, there have been no cases in the CSDD where third-country nationals would have come to re-register the car in Latvia.

Further action was also discussed on Monday at a meeting of cooperation between the government-forming coalition parties. The Union of Greens and Farmers (ZZS) was previously cautious about the idea, but after the cooperation meeting, all political forces said an agreement had been reached.

“We conceptually agreed that if the only way recovery can be achieved is through seizure, then it could also be one solution. But experts have yet to agree on both deadlines and a transition period when they can leave this country, and in what way that confiscation would be made,” Prime Minister Evika Siliņa (New Unity) said in the briefing.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Kaspars Briškens (Progressives) said that “drivers with cars that have Russian and Belarusian numbers violate road traffic regulations very much. This, of course, threatens not only aspects of the rule of law relating to the sanctions but also, in this case, the safety of our entire population on the road.”

However, there still are many technical details that will be clarified when the regulation is drawn up.

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