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Finland denies entry to Russian and Belarusian lorries

The move, which is part of the fifth EU-agreed sanctions package, will take effect from midnight.

Venäjältä saapuvaa liikennettä Nuijamaan raja-asemalla.
Photo from the Finnish-Russian border at Nuijamaa. Image: Kalle Purhonen / Yle
Yle News

Russian and Belarusian lorries will be stopped and denied entry at the Finnish border from midnight. The decision was confirmed to Yle by the director of the customs board's Enforcement Department, Sami Rakshit.

"All commercial traffic concerning vehicles with Russian and Belarusian plates will be stopped and turned back," Rakshit told Yle.

The traffic director says the move is likely to cause major disruptions.

"I assume that because the change is taking place on such a fast schedule, there will be a lot of transport that will not have time to get the information before they arrive at the border. I assume a lot of vehicles will be turned around from the beginning of the night."

In normal times, Rakshit estimates that some 90 percent of the cross-border freight traffic is driven by Russian firms. If Russia responds to the Finnish move with a ban on EU and foreign truckers, cross-border road freight will stop altogether.

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