Thanks but no tanks - Belarus stops T-34 at Latvian border

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Belarusian state customs officers said Friday they had refused passage to a T-34 tank at their country's border with Latvia. 

The famous Russian tank was on the back of a trailer at the Urbany checkpoint on the Belarusian side, a release from the Belarusian authorities said, without specifying in which direction it was heading or when.

"The activity of customs bodies of the Republic of Belarus is entirely aimed at protecting the economic interests of the country and to combat crime in the area of ​​customs legislation. Particular attention is paid to the prevention of the smuggling of military goods - from bullets to tanks," the statement said.

While the driver of the trailer bearing the T34-85 tank built in 1945 had papers, they did not classify the tank as a military product and so were not in order, the statement said.

The tank, worth ​​636,400,000 Belarusian rubles (€40,000), had been confiscated while enquiries continued, the Belarusian authorities said.

Later on Friday the Latvian Interior Ministry confirmed to LSM that the tank had indeed come from Latvia, where it was sold from a private collection of military equipment in the South-East of the country.

However, the incident reportedly took place on April 25 and the T-34 has now been allowed to continue its journey to another collector after the correct paperwork was supplied.

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