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Bulgaria Bans Entry of Vehicles with Russian License Plates

Bulgarian authorities have officially prohibited the entry of vehicles with Russian license plates into the country.

The ban on Russian vehicles entering Bulgarian territory will be enforced until the end of the day, as stated by Anton Zlatanov, the head of the Bulgarian border police. Notably, this prohibition had already been in place for several months for commercial trucks.

The Ministry of Interior of Bulgaria had delayed the implementation of this ban, citing the need for preparations and rule development. However, it was only enforced after Delian Peevski, the leader of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms party, emphasized the importance of complying with all EU decisions related to border security. Peevski stressed that these measures were crucial for Bulgaria’s aspirations to join the Schengen Area.

Anton Zlatanov noted that extensive collaboration with customs officials had been underway since late September, as vehicles were being treated as imported goods. He acknowledged the presence of vehicles with Russian registration in Bulgaria but indicated that their numbers were limited.

This move by Bulgaria aligns with the recommendations of the European Commission, which urged several European nations to ban the entry of vehicles with Russian license plates. Countries that have already implemented such restrictions include Latvia, Poland, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Germany, and Lithuania (excluding vehicles destined for Kaliningrad). Additionally, instances of entry denials have been recorded in Greece, and the Czech Republic has confiscated a vehicle with Russian license plates.

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