Latvia has donated 271 confiscated cars to Ukraine this year and is reportedly planning to send several dozen more in the near future, according to the Delfi news outlet.
Under an amendment to the Law on the Support of Civilians of Ukraine, adopted in February, Latvia can transfer any vehicles classed as belonging to the state.
Citing data from the Latvian State Revenue Service, Delfi reported that Riga has so far used the law to deliver nearly €903,453 ($994,566) worth of vehicles to Ukraine after they were confiscated from drunk drivers.
Additionally, documents are also reportedly being prepared for the imminent transfer of another 34 cars, estimated at a total value of €161,880 ($178,205).
Since the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, Latvia, a member of both the EU and NATO, has been one of Kiev’s staunchest supporters. Riga has spent over 1% of its GDP in aid for Ukraine, sending it military and financial support while providing training for Ukrainian soldiers.
It has also repeatedly taken steps to reduce its ties with Russia. Last week, the Baltic nation announced that it is planning to expel more than 1,000 Russian citizens who have not applied for a residence permit or have failed to pass a Latvian language exam. Ethnic Russians make up about a quarter of the Baltic state’s 1.8 million residents.
Latvian authorities have barred Russian vehicles from crossing its borders, also passing a bill that allows the government to confiscate any cars with Russian or Belarusian license plates that are not officially registered in the country. The vehicles can then be donated to Ukraine.
Moscow has condemned the measures as a “grave violation of international law,” accusing Riga of pursuing “uncompromising Russophobic policies” and waging a “never-ending war” against everything Russian.
Despite extensive support from Latvia and other Western countries, Kiev has continued to complain that it is not receiving enough foreign aid. In July, President Vladimir Zelensky stated that “nothing can be enough” as long as the conflict with Russia continues. The Ukrainian leader demanded more assistance in what he called an “information war,” as well as additional military, financial, and humanitarian aid.
You can share this story on social media: