Band David Shepardson
WASHINGTON, March 30 (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Commerce on Wednesday added 73 Boeing planes this are operated by Russian airlines and recently flew into Russia to a list of planes suspected of violating U.S. export controls under Biden administration sanctions over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier this month, the ministry named 100 planes, including 99 Boeings operated by Russian passenger and cargo carriers, including Aeroflot flag carrier AFLT.MM, AirBridge Cargo, Utah UTAR.MM, Nordwind, Azur Air and Aviastar-TU – as well as billionaire Roman Abramovich’s Gulfstream G650 – in a move the department said would “effectively prevent” planes from traveling outside of Russia.
The ministry said it was withdrawing 12 planes out of the 100 initially appointed to allow them to revert to owners in other countries.
The 73 planes added on Wednesday include those operated by Atran, Aeroflot Pobeda and Rossiya, Alrosa, S7 Airlines units AVSII.MMPegas Fly and Royal Flight, plus some additional Aeroflot and Utair aircraft.
The department warned businesses and other entities worldwide that any refueling, maintenance, repair, or replacement parts or services violate U.S. export controls and subject businesses to U.S. enforcement action that could include “penalties substantial jail time, fines, loss of export privileges, or other restrictions,” the ministry said.
The United States, Canada and much of Europe have banned Russian planes from flying over their airspace, forcing the cancellation of much of Russia’s international flights.
Russia’s largest cargo airline, the Volga-Dnepr Group, said on March 18 that it had suspended all flights using Boeing aircraft due to Western sanctions. Volga-Dnepr said it stopped the operations of two of its subsidiaries – AirBridgeCargo and Atran.
S7, Russia’s largest private airline and the world’s second largest, also announced on March 4 that it was ceasing all international flights, while Pobeda said on March 25 that it was grounding 16 of its 41 planes. Boeing because of the sanctions.
Asked about flight data that suggests some planes on the list have made recent international flights, a Commerce spokesperson said the agency “continues to assess aircraft in transit to and from Russia. and Belarus” to determine if they comply with US licensing requirements.
(Reporting by David Shepardson editing by Marguerita Choy)
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