Azerbaijan’s capital Baku introduced a ban on May 1 on Russian-made taxis that will be replaced with London cabs in the run up to the Eurovision Song Contest, the country’s Transportation Ministry said on Wednesday.
The city is hosting the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest on May 26. The Transportation Ministry said the move was designed to introduce European standards on the taxi market of the city.
The ministry’s spokesman, Namig Gasanov, said violators of the ban would be fined 100 manats, or 100 euros.
Earlier this year, the ministry released a list of sanctioned Russian cars that could be used as taxis in Azerbaijan’s capital. But the spokesman said then that those cars would be gradually withdrawn from the taxi market.
Banned cars are gradually being replaced with London cabs, TX4 models made in China. The Transportation Ministry said the city had already bought 1,000 cabs for $26 million and planned to increased their number to 3,000 by the end of the year.