NewsLatvia donates 271 confiscated cars to Ukraine, an aid worth almost million dollars

Latvia donates 271 confiscated cars to Ukraine, an aid worth almost million dollars

A car with Russian license plates with a symbol of solidarity with Ukraine
A car with Russian license plates with a symbol of solidarity with Ukraine
Images source: © Licensor

10:36 AM EST, December 27, 2023

In 2023, the Latvian Treasury announced the donation of 271 cars to Ukraine, valued at over €900,000. These vehicles were seized from drivers who were caught driving under the influence. Latvia also contemplates sending an additional 32 cars worth nearly €162,000 ($179 948). This initiative is linked to amendments to the Law on Support for the Civilian Population of Ukraine.

Vehicles donation to Ukraine provides a practical solution

Raimonds Bergmanis, the chairman of the Latvian Department of Defense, stated: "Currently, we can sell cars seized from drunk drivers, recycle them, or break them down for spare parts. However, given the situation, they can provide substantial aid to the Ukrainian citizens." The decision to donate a batch of cars is made by the Latvian Council of Ministers each time.

The first batch of cars was dispatched to Ukraine in March 2023, just a day after Latvia's initial decision to donate them. The operation was coordinated through a Non-Governmental Organization in cooperation with Ukrainian authorities. The majority of the vehicles were delivered to the Regional Clinical Hospital in Vinnytsia, the Territorial Medical Association of the Kupyansk Council, and various military entities. Civilian vehicles conversion into warfare aid has been seen previously, notably in the form of off-road vehicles.

Also includes automobiles with Russian plates

The Latvian government has also sanctioned the confiscation and donation to Ukraine of vehicles registered in Russia. Such vehicles will be prohibited from Latvian roads. Vehicle owners must either re-register the cars or export them from Latvia within three months from when the law takes effect, from October 27, 2023. If not, the cars will be impounded and, per planned procedures, sent to Ukraine's defenders. However, Latvia will permit a single transit of vehicles with Russian plates through its territory after the transition period.

The concept of shipping confiscated illegal vehicles to Ukraine isn't completely new. The necessary approvals to transport seized illegal armored-personnel carriers are currently pending.

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