Russia accused of “stealing” hundreds of planes
Russia “stolen” hundreds of passenger planes, They represent billions of euros in compensation to their foreign lessors, senior European officials said on Friday, after Moscow allowed these planes to be registered on its territory.
Russian airlines have until Monday to return the planes, in light of aviation sanctions imposed by the European Union after Russian forces invaded Ukraine a month ago.
However, according to a law promulgated by President Vladimir Putin and published on March 14, Russian airlines have the possibility to register aircraft that they lease abroad in Russia so that they can fly on Russian soil.
This measure allows companies to continue using these devices for domestic flights despite Western sanctions. If they travel abroad, they will be confiscated.
“Most of the planes that can fly abroad are chartered, of European or American origin, that have been stolen from their rightful owners, the lessors,” said the European Commission’s Director-General for Transport, Henrik Hololey.
By re-registering the aircraft in Russia, the country’s authorities are “seriously violating international air law as well as the basic law of civil aviation, the Chicago Convention,” Hololy warned, during his speech at a European aviation authority online conference. Traffic control, Eurocontrol.
And Eurocontrol Director-General Eamon Brennan warned that “there are about ten thousand million (euro) and more than 500 devices seized by the Russians and registered with them.” “This creates a very difficult situation for European rental companies and insurance companies,” he added.