No Flight: US Will Effectively Ground 100 Planes That Flew To Russia | Russo-Ukrainian War

The United States is listing Russian planes it says may have violated export controls, including one used by businessman Roman Abramovich.

The United States has decided to effectively ground 100 planes it says recently flew to Russia, including a plane used by Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, and may have violated U.S. checks at the export.

The US Commerce Department on Friday released a list of 99 Boeing planes operated by Russian passenger and cargo carriers – including Aeroflot, AirBridge Cargo, Utair, Nordwind, Azur Air and Aviastar-TU – as well as Abramovich’s Gulfstream G650 .

Providing any service to these aircraft without authorization risks violating U.S. export regulations, the department said in a statement, and could incur “substantial jail time, fines, loss of export privileges or other limitations”.

“By preventing these planes from receiving any service, for example including from abroad, international flights from Russia on these planes are effectively grounded,” the statement said.

The move comes as US President Joe Biden’s administration continues to impose restrictions on Russian officials, businesses and other entities as part of an effort to pressure President Vladimir Putin to end the war in Ukraine.

Russia launched an all-out invasion of the country in late February, and its week-long bombardment of Ukrainian cities has displaced millions internally and forced millions more to flee Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged the country’s Western allies to do more to help amid continued Russian attacks, including supplying more weapons and establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine. But the United States and NATO have rejected this latest request, saying it would lead to a direct confrontation between Washington and Moscow.

This week, after Zelenskyy addressed the US Congress, Biden announced that his administration would provide an additional $800 million in military assistance to Ukraine, including 800 anti-aircraft systems, thousands of missiles carried on the shoulder and other equipment, such as drones.

Earlier this month, the United States also launched what it dubbed “KleptoCapture” – an initiative aimed at holding Russia’s wealthy elite accountable and ensuring that US sanctions imposed mid-war in Ukraine are applied.

On Friday, the Commerce Ministry released the specific tail numbers of the targeted planes, including 33 Boeing planes operated by Aeroflot AFLT.MM and 12 Boeing 747 cargo planes operated by AirBridge Cargo, a unit of Russia’s largest cargo airline Volga. -Dnepr Group.

Aeroflot and a spokesman for Abramovich, owner of English soccer club Chelsea, did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters news agency. Abramovich said this month that he planned to sell the club and donate the money from the sale to war victims in Ukraine.

Volga-Dnepr declined to comment immediately but said on Friday it had suspended all flights using Boeing aircraft, citing sanctions and a decision by Bermuda’s Civil Aviation Authority to terminate their safety certificates.

The United States, Canada and much of Europe have banned Russian planes from flying over their airspace, forcing the cancellation of many Russian international flights.

The rules apply to any aircraft manufactured in the United States or any other aircraft containing more than 25% controlled content of American origin that was re-exported to Russia after the entry into force of the new strict controls on related articles. to the air force for Russia on February 24.

Moscow took a first step this week towards maintaining its commercial fleet by allowing its airlines to re-register planes leased from Russia, giving local authorities direct control over the airworthiness certificates needed for each jet.

In Friday’s statement, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina M Raimondo said the department “demonstrates the power and reach of the actions we have taken over the past several weeks in response to Russia’s brutal war of choice. against Ukraine”.

“We are releasing this list to warn the world – we will not allow Russian and Belarusian businesses and oligarchs to travel with impunity in violation of our laws,” Raimondo said.

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