November 30, 2023


U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced Wednesday new powers to detain Russian aircraft, and remove aircraft belonging to sanctioned individuals and entities from the U.K. register.

The new measures will also block U.K. exports of aviation or space-related goods and technology to Russia, including related services such as insurance and reinsurance services.

It comes after U.K. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced Tuesday night he is making it a criminal offense for any Russian aircraft to enter U.K. airspace, ensuring the government can detain any jets that enter.

Speaking Wednesday on Sky News, Shapps said that this ban allows the government to “go further” than previous sanctions which covered Aeroflot, the Russian state-owned operator, and also private jets and other commercial aircraft.

The new raft of sanctions “actually means [that] we will be able to be more specific,” Shapps said. When there are “Russian oligarchs flying into the country, they should know this in the clearest signal of all: You can’t do that anymore. We can impound your aircraft and turn this into a criminal offense.”

Shapps also told BBC Breakfast that one alleged Russian aircraft has been impounded already. “There is one such aircraft on the ground at Farnborough that I have essentially impounded whilst we carry out further investigations, for the last few days,” he said.

Shortly after President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine, all Russian aircraft — commercial and private — were banned from EU airspace.

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