Thousands of Russia-bound luxury cars stuck at Belgian port due to sanctions

Impounded car models include Mercedes, Audi, BMW and Cadillac.

Thousands of Russia-bound luxury cars stuck at Belgian port due to sanctions

Thousands of Russia-bound luxury cars are stranded at the Port of Zeebrugge in Belgium, one of Europe’s biggest vehicle transshipment ports, because of sanctions slapped on Moscow over its war on Ukraine.

Belgian customs officers are not allowing the shipment of the new vehicles as the EU introduced a ban on exporting luxury goods and vehicles worth over €50,000 ($53,4000) in mid-March.

The impounded cars, whose legal status is unclear, include Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, and Lexus models.

The buildup of vehicles is said to have highlighted confusion at key European ports over how to navigate sanctions against Russia.

Russia’s two-month-old war on Ukraine has left thousands dead or wounded, and forced more than 5 million people to flee abroad.

Moscow calls its actions a “special military operation” to “demilitarize” and “denazify” Ukraine. For Western countries, however, it is a war of aggression and they have imposed severe sanctions in response.

The EU has allocated €1.5 billion ($1.6 billion) in military support to Ukrainians and adopted five packages of sanctions since the beginning of the war on Feb. 24.

The restrictive measures target individuals, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, oligarchs, and military officers.

The European bloc has also banned the import of coal from Russia and excluded Russian and Belarusian banks from the SWIFT international banking system.

It is currently preparing the sixth set of restrictive measures amid growing pressure to ban Russian energy imports.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Nisan 2022, 00:24

Hüseyin Demir