I have an enemy who is crossing my land to trade with another civ. Can I stop them from crossing without going to war?

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    Based on the title, it seems to be that a neutral civ is passing through their lands to another civ for trade. They are just saying this neutral civ is 'an enemy'. – n_plum Dec 30 '19 at 13:39

No, you cannot prevent another nation's traders from crossing your territory.

Once you research the Early Empire civic, you gain the ability to enforce borders against military units and allow friendly nations to cross them.

However, traders and religious units are exempt from closed borders, and can wander freely into your territory. See Civ VI Border Rules for more information.

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    Can't you just block/surround the trader with military units? at least back in Civ 3 you could IIRC. Mind you it is(/was) a very expensive way of doing that. – smci Dec 31 '19 at 8:59
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    @smci I think in later Civs the traders pass right through military units, like they're on another layer. Workers and Settlers can still be stopped like that in I think Civ 4 and 5, don't know about 6. – Mast Dec 31 '19 at 9:01
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    Traders cannot be blocked by military units, they are capturable by those units so they can share tiles. – n_plum Jan 3 '20 at 13:50

Trade routes can navigate to their destination, regardless of the border, as long as you have a free trading capacity, a trader unit, and a valid destination.

Short answer: No you cannot prevent traders passing through without going to war.

Valid destinations:

  • You have discovered the city
  • You are not at war with the civ it belongs to
  • Within the trading range of origin city (extendable by trading posts)
  • A route is available (you've explored enough passable tiles between the locations)

You can only plunder trade routes when you are at war with another civilization. Barbarians can also plunder the routes if they're left unguarded.

Note: If you go to war with another civilization, all routes between you two will be canceled. If those routes going through your lands are not to your own cities, they will persist, allowing you to destroy them after declaring war.

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