WASHINGTON, USA – The US Commerce Department on Thursday, June 16, broadened export controls on Belarus’ national airline, Belavia, for providing flights on Boeing aircraft in violation of restrictions issued after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Companies around the world are now prohibited from maintaining, repairing, and otherwise using US parts or equipment to service Belavia’s fleet, according to a Commerce Department order issued against the airline.
Belavia violated US regulationsby flying Boeing aircraft after April 8 into and out of Belarus to and from Russia, Turkey, Moscow, Saint Petersberg, Georgia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, the department said.
On April 8, Washington restricted flights on Belarusian owned, controlled, or operated aircraft manufactured in the United States or made in a foreign country with more than 25% controlled US content from flying into Belarus or Russia.
“Just as Belarus is lawlessly supporting Russia’s unjust war in Ukraine, its national airline Belavia is failing to obey our export laws,” Matthew Axelrod, assistant secretary of commerce for export enforcement, said in a statement.
The order “will prevent Belavia from leveraging any US technology to operate its fleet of airplanes, thus making it more difficult for the airline to keep flying.”
The order affects both the Boeing and Embraer aircraft in Belavia’s fleet, if they need US parts or services, officials said. It also broadens the items restricted to Belavia. Boeing is based in the US. Embraer is a Brazilian manufacturer.
Minsk-based Belavia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The US has taken similar action against major Russian airlines, including Aeroflot, Aviastar, Azur Air, Rossiya, and Utair, after identifying Boeing airplanes that were operating in violation of US sanctions.
Aeroflot, Russia’s flagship airline, announced June 7 it planned to raise up to $3 billion in an emergency share issue amid pressure from Western sanctions and airspace bans. – Rappler.com