Welt reported 30 cases of Russian private jets using EU airspace despite sanctions. The US Department of Justice has previously seen attempts to make it difficult to arrest planes by reissuing them to other jurisdictions alt=”Welt learned about flights of “oligarchs” planes from Russia in circumvention of sanctions” />
Private planes and helicopters of Russian “oligarchs” fly over EU territory despite sanctions, writes Welt am Sonntag, citing its own study of open data on flight tracking services.
According to the newspaper, since the introduction of European sanctions, about 30 flights have been made over the EU territory aircraft and helicopters allegedly belonging to Russian private individuals.
In particular, in early March, a Bombardier aircraft with registration number T7-7AA, operated by a Swiss company and registered in San Marino, flew from Nice to Istanbul, the publication claims that it belongs to businessman Albert Avdolyan. In addition, a plane registered in Luxembourg, which the publication links with businessman Viktor Vekselberg, was able to take off from a European airport in April, after which it landed in Nur-Sultan.
“The application of sanctions against business jets and helicopters registered outside of Russia and owned by non-Russian companies is sometimes difficult due to non-transparent ownership structures,” — an unnamed European official told Welt am Sonntag.
The closure of airspace for Russian aircraft was included in one of the package of sanctions measures that the European Union began to introduce from the end of February. European countries also banned the supply of aircraft and spare parts to Russia, and leasing companies were obliged to terminate contracts with Russian carriers. As part of restrictive measures, lessors began to arrest the liners of Russian airlines abroad. The European Union and the United States imposed sanctions against a number of Russian businessmen, their assets were blocked, yachts and planes were arrested, and entrepreneurs were banned from entering European countries.
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In the US Department of Justice in early April, they said that sanctioned Russian businessmen are trying to avoid restrictive measures and transfer property to other jurisdictions.
The head of a special working group in the ministry, Andrew Adams, said then: “Efforts are being made” some of them were reported publicly— for the movement of, for example, movable property in the form of yachts, aircraft <…> in a jurisdiction where I think people think it will be harder to investigate [their ownership] and harder to freeze [ownership].”
The Kremlin has deemed the crackdown on Russian businessmen a “robbery.” “These are absolutely honest legal entrepreneurs. They were robbed. They were robbed the same way travelers were robbed in the Wild West with the help of Smith and Wesson, — I am sure the representative of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov. He also rejected the presence of oligarchs in Russia, pointing out that they are considered to be those who “reached power.”