The European Commission has included 20 Russian airlines in the EU Air Safety List. The list includes the largest Russian airlines, such as Aeroflot, Rossiya, Pobeda, UTair, S7. These companies are prohibited from flying within the EU borders, “because they do not comply with international safety standards.”
The blacklisting of companies “reflects serious security concerns due to Russia’s forced re-registration of aircraft belonging to foreign owners,” the European Commission said.
This decision was made after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on March 14 that allows registering in Russia the rights to foreign aircraft that are leased from domestic airlines and issuing them Russian certificates of airworthiness. The decision on the registration of ownership rights to aircraft used under leasing agreements will be made by the government.
“We live in conditions of unmotivated and unjustified military aggression of Russia against Ukraine. However, I want to make it very clear that this decision is not another sanction against Russia: it was adopted solely for technical and security reasons. We don’t mix security with politics,” the Comission claimed.
It is specified that Russian airlines still do not operate flights to the EU: after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, a number of Western countries closed their airspace to them.
Besides, the EU sanctions, which were introduced on February 26, prohibit the supply of civil aircraft and spare parts to Russia, as well as their maintenance and insurance. In addition, the sanctions oblige lessors to terminate existing contracts with airlines by the end of March.