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

The U.S. Commerce Department on Thursday broadened export controls on Belarus's national airline, Belavia, for providing flights on Boeing 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 or equipment to service Belavia's fleet, according to a Commerce Department order issued against the airline.

Belavia violated U.S. regulations by flying Boeing aircraft after April 8 into and out of Belarus to and from Russia, Turkey, Moscow, St. Petersberg, Georgia, the UAE and Egypt, the department said.

On April 8th, Washington restricted flights on Belarusian owned, controlled 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 or services, officials said. It also broadens the items restricted to Belavia. Boeing is based in the U.S. Embraer is a Brazilian manufacturer.

Minsk-based Belavia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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 opera ting in violation of U.S. sanctions.

Aeroflot, Russia's flagship airline, announced June 7 it planned to raise up to $3 billion in an emergency share issue amid pressure from Western sanctions and airspace bans.

Source: Reuters

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