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US targets Abramovich plane and 99 others for violations of Russian exports

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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON, March 18 (Reuters) – The U.S. Commerce Department will take action on Friday to ground 100 planes that have recently flown to Russia and are believed to have violated U.S. export controls, including a aircraft used by Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, published by Reuters.

The list, seen by Reuters, identifies 99 Boeing aircraft operated by Russian passenger and cargo carriers, including Aeroflot, AirBridge Cargo, Utair, Nordwind, Azur Air and Aviastar-TU, as well as Abramovich’s Gulfstream G650, and could further hamper plus more Russian efforts to continue some international flights.

The Department of Commerce will advise businesses and other entities around the world that any refueling, maintenance, repair, or replacement parts or services violates United States export controls and subjects businesses to the application of United States law, That could include “substantial jail time, fines, loss of export privileges or other restrictions,” the department said.

The office said in a statement that the action means “international flights from Russia on these aircraft are effectively grounded.”

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimando said in a statement to Reuters that the department is “issuing this list to put the world on notice: We will not allow Russian and Belarusian companies and oligarchs to travel with impunity in violation of our laws.”

It is also publishing the specific tail numbers of the planes, including 33 Boeing planes operated by Aeroflot and 12 Boeing 747 cargo planes operated by AirBridge Cargo, a unit of the Volga-Dnepr Group.

Aeroflot, AirBridge and a spokesman for Abramovich, which is owned by English soccer club Chelsea, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The United States, Canada and much of Europe have banned Russian planes from flying over their airspace, forcing the cancellation of much of Russia’s international flights.

The rules apply to any aircraft made in the United States or with more than 25% controlled content of U.S. origin that has been re-exported to Russia after strict new controls on related items take effect on February 24. with aviation for Russia.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; edited in Spanish by Benjamín Mejías Valencia)

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