US bans exports to three Russian airlines for sanctions violations

AFP , Thursday 7 Apr 2022

The US government has banned exports to Russia's state airline Aeroflot as well as two other carriers for flying aircraft in violation of sanctions, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

Crimea, Russia
People wave flags during a rally in support of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, in Simferopol, Crimea on April 7, 2022. AFP

Washington warned last month that the carriers had gone against penalties imposed on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine by flying Boeing aircraft, as had billionaire Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich for his use of a Gulfstream jet.

The Commerce Department cited the warning in announcing that Aeroflot as well as Azur Air and Utair are banned from receiving American goods for the next 180 days.

"We are cutting off not only their ability to access items from the United States but also reexports of US-origin items from abroad," Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement.

"Any companies that flout our export controls, specifically those who do so to the benefit of Vladimir Putin and the detriment of the Ukrainian people, will feel the full force of the department's enforcement."

Commerce announced no action against Abramovich, who has been participating on the Russian side in peace talks with Ukraine held in Turkey.

The statement said the sanctioned airlines had operated flights within Russia as well as to countries including China, Vietnam, Turkey, India and the United Arab Emirates without seeking US permission, as the sanctions require.

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