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U.S. broadens restrictions on Belarus national airline after violations

2022.06.16 18:46

U.S. broadens restrictions on Belarus national airline after violations
FILE PHOTO: A Boeing 737-800 plane of Belarusian state carrier Belavia takes off at the Domodedovo Airport outside Moscow, Russia May 28, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

By Karen Freifeld

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Commerce Department on Thursday broadened export controls against Belarus’s national airline, Belavia, for providing flights on Boeing (NYSE:BA) 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 U.S. parts to service Belavia’s fleet, according to an order issued against the airline.

Belavia made over 30 illegal flights on Boeing aircraft after April 8 in and out of Belarus, Russia, Turkey, Moscow, St. Petersberg, Georgia, the UAE and Egypt, the order said.

The Commerce Department on April 8 restricted flights on Belarusian owned or operated aircraft manufactured in the United States or made in a foreign country with more than 25% controlled U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. parts, officials said.

The U.S. 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 U.S. sanctions.

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