The US Department of Commerce decided on Thursday to block three Russian airlines from receiving exported parts from the US. This is the ministry’s first step to sanction alleged violations of export controls since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The move — which applies to Russian flagship airline Aeroflot, along with airlines Azur Air and Utair — is an attempt to cut the airlines off from the global economy.
It follows US sanctions announced Wednesday against two of Russia’s largest banks and the adult children of Russian President Vladimir Putin, when US President Joe Biden accused Russia of war crimes in Ukraine.
The Department of Commerce’s so-called temporary denial orders, which are valid for six months and are renewable, effectively prohibit the use of US parts for aircraft maintenance, as well as aircraft maintenance contracts subject to US export regulations.
Over time, as a result of the orders, Russian airlines would “be largely unable to continue flying internationally or domestically,” said Matthew Axelrod, assistant secretary of trade for export enforcement.
†[I]It’s obviously hard to keep flying if you can’t maintain your planes,” Axelrod said at a news conference on Thursday, adding that the three Russian airlines would commit “imminent” violations of export controls by flying “aircraft of American origin” into Russia. without permission to continue to fly those aircraft within Russia without permission.
DailyExpertNews has asked the three Russian airlines for comment.