Chris Lange, FISM News
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law giving Russian airlines the ability to seize foreign-owned aircrafts for domestic flights Monday in response to broad Western sanctions imposed on the Kremlin for its war against Ukraine. The sweeping sanctions have heavily impacted Russia’s aviation industry, according to Fox News and Wall Street Journal reports.
According to Russian state media outlet TASS, the new law will allow Russian airlines to seize and operate planes leased by foreign companies that have pulled out of contracts with Russia in accordance with sanctions.
Several countries, including the U.S., have closed their skies to Russian carriers and required insurance carriers to cancel their coverage. In the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration has suspended “operations of all aircraft owned, certified, operated, registered, chartered, leased, or controlled by, for, or for the benefit of, a person who is a citizen of Russia.” Moscow responded by banning 36 countries, including the U.S. and the entire European Union, from using its airspace.
Putin’s latest gesture is perhaps more symbolic than effective. Taking ownership of foreign aircraft, particularly modern passenger jets, requires high levels of maintenance, updates, and a steady supply of parts, all of which have been denied to Russia because of sanctions.