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Russian oligarchs losing hiding spots for jets as Russia breaches treaty by allowing dual aircraft registration

As countries around the world continue to load onto sanctions against Russia, a month after its invasion of Ukraine, the aviation industry faces unprecedented regulations in an already formidable time. The sanctions stretch further than the aviation industry, with luxury goods, oil and gas, banks, and even individual Russian oligarchs falling under the penalties. Overseas territories attempt to smoke out Putin's oligarchs Aruba is the latest to hit Russia with aviation sanctions, including the grounding and de-registration, of aircraft based in Russia or connected to Russian entities. The Department of Civil Aviation Aruba (DCA) and The Registry of Aruba (TROA) have been and remain in full compliance with both the EU and US sanctions, Aruba's government said in a statement. "Sympathizing with the people of Ukraine, the DCA and TROA strongly condemn Russia's military operations in Ukraine," the statement continued. As an autonomous state of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Aruba is legally bound to implement sanctions issued by the European Union. As Russian oligarchs and companies face the freezing of their assets - including yachts and private jets - many have taken to hiding them in smaller islands around the world, CNBC reported. RELATED: Teen who tracked Elon Musk's jet now targeting Russian oligarchs on Twitter through ADS-B data The United Kingdom has continued to enforce British sanctions in its overseas territories, including Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands. The government is "working closely with the overseas territories to make sure that Putin's oligarchs have nowhere to hide," UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told Parliament. Earlier this month, Bermuda temporarily suspended all Russian jets on the island from its airworthiness system. There are 740 Russian-operated aircraft registered in Bermuda, reported Bernews. The Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority said that international sanctions on the aviation sector made it impossible to "confidently approve" Russian aircraft on the island as airworthy. An agency spokesperson told Business Insider that the BCAA will continue to deregister aircraft on request from the registered owner in accordance with the agency's legislation and procedures. Russia passes a law to dodge EU sanctions, 15 aircraft now breach Chicago Convention After the vow by the U.S. and its Western allies to seize Russia's yachts and private jets, the country retaliated. Russia passed a law that permits airlines within the country to place aircraft leased internationally on the Russian registry, allowing them to be maintained and flown domestically. Fifteen aircraft registered in Ireland but leased to Russian airline Rossiya have been added to Russia's register under the new law, despite breaching the Chicago Convention, which makes dual-registered aircraft prohibited, the Irish Times reported. Aircraft leasing companies had through Monday to terminate lease agreements with Russian airlines in compliance with EU sanctions. The transfer of aircraft to Russia's registry has pushed leasing firms to file insurance claims, which consider their aircraft effectively hijacked. Russian airlines were given a strict deadline to return the more than 400 leased aircraft worth nearly $10 billion to foreign lessors. But as the last few grains of sand slip through the hourglass and Russia has not budged, it is unlikely that those planes will return to their registered countries. "I'm afraid that we are going to witness the largest sort of theft of aircraft in the history of commercial aviation," Volodymyr Bilotkach, an associate professor of air transport management at Singapore Institute of Technology, told Insurance Journal. Sanctions attempt to cut off Russia's aviation industry resources The United States and the EU have placed a number of sanctions on Russia's aviation industry, including banning the sale or purchase of planes and parts, stopping maintenance, and limiting insurance options. These sanctions were selected so that they would "lead to the degradation of a key sector of the Russian economy and the country's connectivity," noted European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen. With Boeing and Airbus manufacturing a majority of the airliners in Russia, both companies have halted spare parts, maintenance, or technical support under the sanctions. Earlier this month, Britain released additional sanctions, under which any Russian plane can be detained. "Banning Russian-flagged planes from the U.K. and making it a criminal offense to fly them will inflict more economic pain on Russia and those close to the Kremlin," said Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in a tweet. The ban includes any aircraft owned, operated, or chartered by anyone connected with Russia or designated individual or entities and will include the power to detain any aircraft owned by persons connected with Russia. With sanctions continuously being added, how does the aviation industry navigate the minefield of regulations? EBAA COO Robert Baltus' initial advice still holds true: Check with authorities, get things in writing, check with your insurance company, and check with your lawyer. Previous GlobalAir.com reporting on the Russia-Ukraine War:One month since Russia waged war on Ukraine: The impact so far on business aviation andamp; how the industry is helping war victims NBAA hosts experts to provide perspectives on the global impact of the war in UkraineHow the European business jet industry is adapting to Russian sanctions Antonov An-225 Mriya, world's largest plane, reportedly destroyed at Ukraine airport
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