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Sep 18, 2022
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Trucks from the EU turn on the red light

Trucks from the EU turn on the red light

Photo: Yuri Smityuk/TASS

The Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation is preparing a document banning the entry of trucks from the EU into the Russian Federation, which, in fact, will be a mirror response of our country to European sanctions. This innovation will not cause much damage, on the contrary, Russian truckers who are out of work will have at least some work. In theory. And in practice, the West can even hang a barn lock on the borders of the Russian Federation.

“At present, the Ministry of Transport of Russia, taking into account proposals from interested federal executive authorities, has developed draft decrees of the President of the Russian Federation and a decree of the government of the Russian Federation on the introduction of retaliatory restrictive measures by the Russian Federation against transport companies of the European Union countries, providing for the possibility of re-transferring or reloading goods at border terminals,” the ministry said.

In fact, entrepreneurs have been doing this since mid-spring of this year, when Russian trucks were denied access to the European Union. The mechanism for bypassing the bans was quickly devised and implemented.

“The logistics leverage has not increased, but difficulties have arisen. Previously, our trucks went to the EU, it was cheaper and, most importantly, more convenient, now we have a “combined” delivery. A local car travels across Europe, and at the border the goods are reloaded from it into a Russian one. In general, the cost of delivery has increased, although not catastrophically. The terms have increased, but not so much. Now everyone is already used to it, ”says businessman Pyotr.

Therefore, the “transshipments and re-transfers” mentioned in the statement of the Ministry of Transport are working, officials are simply stating a fact, nothing more. Depict activity.

European trucks have remained on our roads, although there are not so many of them anymore. But there is. Then, in April of the current 2022, a number of Russian entrepreneurs wrote a tearful letter to the government asking them not to introduce mirror measures. The authorities went along with the business – but in vain. The problem is not actually in imports, but also in the transport business itself.

“On the western borders of the country, Russian cargo, both for export and import, is transported by transport companies from the Baltic countries. Since 2014, Russian carriers have begun to leave the western direction, transferring contracts to Belarusian companies, and some time ago they practically stopped traveling to Europe through the western borders of Russia,” says the President of the National Association of Freight Road Transport “Gruzavtotrans” Vladimir Matyagin.

These very “transport companies from the Baltic countries” are the most interesting moment. They belong to people from the Russian Federation, in fact, these are Russian companies, only brought abroad. Not all, of course, but there are enough of them. Apparently, the aforementioned April letter has, among other things, these roots.

Unlike Russian officials, the Old Man does his job and does not pull the cat by the tail – Belarus, on April 16, restricted the movement of European trucks on its territory. The Russian Association of International Road Carriers (ASMAP) has repeatedly asked our officials to do the same, but they have been swaying for a very long time. Not otherwise, they had some interest.

“We are waiting for a decision on the entry ban for European vehicles as soon as possible. This will help balance the situation in the market. After all, now, because of the created imbalance, the Europeans have raised freight rates for transportation by two or three times. Our transport workers, of course, partially work on the territory of Belarus. At the same time, they earn only a little more than a quarter of the total freight, although the section from the western border of Belarus to Moscow or another city in the Russian Federation is longer than the European one.

In some companies, downtime for drivers has already begun – they were sent on vacation. In addition, there is an excess of used trucks on the market – business is forced to get rid of the park, which is not used due to a sharp reduction in turnover on vehicles in the European direction, “explains the director of the Green Line transport company. Alexey Bogdanov.

An explanation is needed here. After the ban on Russian trucks traveling to the EU, local, European carriers immediately raised prices. And several times – there is no more competition! If before the start of the special operation the cost of driving a truck (it doesn’t matter which one, ours or foreign, the prices were approximately equal) from the center of Europe to Moscow was about 3,000 euros, then after February 24 they increased to 15 thousand and more. Since only foreigners can ride.

The matter seems to have moved off the ground, although the cunning “servants of the people” did come up with a certain list of exceptions – foreign trucks with a number of goods will continue to be allowed into the Russian Federation.

“It is proposed to make such categories of goods as an exception, such as products of the pharmaceutical and medical industries, perishable goods, as well as goods requiring special storage conditions,” the Ministry of Industry and Trade said.

Of course, in the category of “cargo requiring special storage conditions” you can write anything. The money of Westerners, as well as “Russian foreigners” continues to work.

According to ASMAP estimates, the ban on the entry of Russian trucks into the EU, introduced on April 8, cost our carriers 22 billion rubles. Moreover, in the case of immediate mirror measures, these losses could be at least halved. At the moment, out of 60,000 trucks that traveled to Europe until April, about 40,000 are idle. But our authorities do not give a damn about the domestic economy, as well as about the drivers who sit without a salary. Although everyone could have been in business for a long time – to transport goods from the borders throughout Russia. Yes, companies would receive less revenue. But even so.

The ban – as we can see, only partial – can come into effect as early as October 1. Unless, of course, something happens that induces officials to turn on the reverse gear. These can. Therefore, our truckers should prepare for all sorts of dirty tricks, just like that, the “fifth column” in the Russian government will not give up.

In particular, the customs seems to be not particularly ready to “give the go-ahead” to these very overloads and re-transfers. Like, nothing is fixed. But there are other opinions as well.

“From October 1, we plan to introduce a re-transfer-overload mode. The infrastructure is ready for this. There are temporary storage facilities. It remains only to formalize the normatively – by a presidential decree and a government decree, ”says the general director of ASMAP Andrey Kurushin.

In principle, the European Union may also take a retaliatory step – an escalation of the “transport war”. It is not worth looking for logic in the decisions of Brussels, what Washington orders, the EU puppets will do. A ban on trade with Russia – and this is exactly what it will look like – should immediately receive an adequate response from Moscow. That is, a reciprocal ban, primarily on gas supplies. Although this, most likely, will not help much – it’s too late. The vaults are full, and the Old World will somehow survive this winter.

And then a full-fledged iron curtain will fall – European goods will disappear altogether. Including medicines and other vital things. And transportation in this direction will not be needed at all. However, so far this is nothing more than a hypothetical scenario, the position of the EU is becoming less and less consolidated.

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