Ukraine Invasion: Chelsea Boss Roman Abramovich’s Private Jet, 99 Other Planes Grounded By US Government Over Connections With Russia
By Uganda Online Correspondent
A plane belonging to Roman Abramovich has been effectively grounded by the US government.
It is one of around 100 planes with ties to Russia that the US Commerce Department said contravened US sanctions with Russia.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said the move was a response to “Russia’s brutal war of choice against Ukraine.”
She said: “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.”
The department said the action means “international flights from Russia on these aircraft are effectively grounded.”
As well as Mr. Abramovich’s Gulfstream private jet, those on the list which are mostly Boeing aircraft – include those operated by Russian airline Aeroflot.
The department said that refueling, maintenance, or repair work of any of the listed planes and the provision of spare parts violates US export controls.
Violators of the regulations face “substantial jail time, fines, loss of export privileges, or other restrictions”, it added.
The rules apply to aircraft with more than 25 percent US-origin content that was re-exported to Russia after the new controls on aviation-related items for Russia took effect on 24 February – the day Russia invaded Ukraine.
In a statement, the Commerce Department said: “By preventing these aircraft from receiving any service, for example, including from abroad, international flights from Russia on these aircraft are effectively grounded.”
Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves said: “Our actions aren’t idle words or dead letters on the page.
“They have real teeth and as Putin’s vicious war continues, they will continue to bite harder on the Russian and Belarusian economies”.
Earlier this month, Mr. Abramovich – the current owner of Chelsea football club – was among seven oligarchs sanctioned by the UK government in a response to the Ukraine war.
Mr Abramovich is alleged to have strong links to Russian President Vladimir Putin, a claim he has denied.
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.