BEIJING (AFP) – China has banned Russian airlines from sending foreign-owned planes into its airspace, Russia’s RBK news agency reports, after President Vladimir Putin cast doubt over ownership of the planes by allowing them to re-register them in Russia to avoid confiscation under sanctions. Because of Moscow’s attack on Ukraine.
The European Union, home to major aircraft leasing companies, banned the sale or lease of aircraft to Russian airlines in February. Putin responded by agreeing to the re-registration procedure in March, prompting suggestions that foreign owners would never take back billions of dollars of planes.
RBK, citing two unidentified sources, said China’s air regulator asked all foreign airlines last month to update ownership information and other details. It said Russian airlines that were unable to provide documents showing that their planes had been “deregistered abroad” were being denied entry into Chinese airspace.
China’s Civil Aviation Administration did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation and details of the decision.
President Xi Jinping’s government said in February it had an “unlimited” friendship with Moscow but had tried to distance itself from Putin’s war. Beijing has criticized Western sanctions but appears to be avoiding steps that might be seen as helping Moscow for fear of possible sanctions against Chinese companies.
“Amateur organizer. Wannabe beer evangelist. General web fan. Certified internet ninja. Avid reader.”