The EU has banned 20 Russian airlines over safety and maintenance issues, according to a press release published on the European Commission’s website on Monday. Russian airlines have already been banned from European airspace as part of sanctions on Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine.
Russia’s biggest carriers such as Aeroflot, S7, Rossiya, UTair are among those added to the EU Air Safety List, which logs airlines that are subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union, because they do not meet international safety standards, the release states.
The European Commission says Russia allowed its airlines to “operate hundreds of foreign-owned aircraft without a valid Certificate of Airworthiness,” which is “in breach of international safety standards” and “poses an immediate safety threat.” The certificate is issued by the bloc’s aviation safety agency and testifies that the aircraft meets the safety requirements set by the European Union.
“I want to make it crystal-clear that this decision is not another sanction against Russia; it has been taken solely on the basis of technical and safety grounds. We do not mix safety with politics.” the press release quotes EU Commissioner for Transport Adina Valea.
In late February, shortly after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine, the European Union banned the supply, sale, leasing, maintenance and insurance of European-owned aircraft in Russia. Leasing companies scrapped their contracts with Russian airlines shortly after and demanded that they return nearly 500 planes. European airspace was also closed to Russia. In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law allowing Russian airlines to re-register foreign-owned airplanes and continue flying them domestically.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section