US hits Russian oligarchs by grounding 100 planes

US hits Russian oligarchs by grounding 100 planes
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The US Trade Department has grounded about 100 Russian planes that recently violated U.S. sanctions against Russia, including Aeroflot Boeings and a jet belonging to Russian businessman Roman Abramovitch, Belga News Agency reports.

Washington has banned planes manufactured in the United States or manufactured with at least 25% of parts of US origin from entering Russia without specific authorisation. This was one of an unprecedented series of sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

However, since 2 March 2022, the department has identified a number of commercial and private planes that have flown from third countries to Russia, all of them owned, controlled, or leased to Russia or to Russian nationals. The Trade Department issued a statement that included a full list of the planes concerned.

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These planes can no longer be fuelled in the US nor by any of its allies, nor can they be maintained or provided with spare parts or services.

"By preventing these aircraft from being serviced, including from abroad, international flights from Russia on these aircraft are effectively grounded," the department said.

The list includes planes linked to Aeroflot, AirBridge Cargo, Utair, Nordwind, Azur Air and Aviastar as well as Abramovitch’s private Gulfstream G650 luxury jet.

"We are publishing this list to put the world on notice — we will not allow Russian and Belarusian companies and oligarchs to travel with impunity in violation of our laws," Trade Secretary Gina Raimondo said.

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