The US has ordered the seizure of two aircraft belonging to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, according to multiple reports and a court filing on Monday.
According to the court documents seen by Al Arabiya English, the US believes a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner and a Gulfstream G650ER aircraft “owned and/or controlled” by Abramovich violated a sanctions regime, Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (ECRA).
The sanctions can be applied to the two planes under Russian sanctions imposed after Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February.
The two US-manufactured planes flew without being given the needed export licenses from the US Department of Commerce.
The Justice Department said that the Boeing was now in the United Arab Emirates and the Gulfstream is in Russia. “The Boeing and Gulfstream are owned and controlled by Roman Abramovich, a Russia national, through a series of shell companies in Cyprus, Jersey, and the British Virgin Islands,” a statement from the Justice Department read.
The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Washington was holding off on sanctioning Abramovich after he played a role in trying to mediate peace between Ukraine and Russia, despite the United Kingdom and the EU slapping him with sanctions.
“Russian oligarchs such as Abramovich will not be permitted to violate US export regulations without consequence,” said Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Office of Export Enforcement (OEE) Director John Sonderman.
“Those that violate the expansive export controls imposed on Russia will ultimately find themselves the target of investigations by OEE Special Agents and our law enforcement partners,” Sonderman said in a statement.