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UK moves to strengthen ban on Russian aircraft

The British government is to make it a criminal offence for Russian aircraft to enter UK airspace, it confirmed on Wednesday, as ministers looked to tighten sanctions.
In a joint statement, the Foreign Office and Department for Transport said new legislation was being laid down to make it a criminal offence for any Russian aircraft to fly or land in the UK. The ban includes any aircraft owned, operated or chartered by anyone connected with Russia or designated individuals or entities.

Any aircraft found to have broken the embargo can be detained and removed from the UK register, it added.

The government has also banned the export of aviation and space-related goods and technology to Russia, including related services such as insurance and re-insurance. The move means cover on existing policies will now be withdrawn, with UK insurers and re-insurers unable to pay claims in respect of existing policies in these sectors.

Foreign secretary Liz Truss said: “Banning Russian flagged planes from the UK and making it a criminal offence to fly them will inflict more pain on Russia and those close to the Kremlin.

“We will continue to support Ukraine diplomatically, economically and defensively in the face of Putin’s illegal invasion, and work to isolate Russia on the international stage.”

The announcement came as it was confirmed that a plane at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire was already under investigation. The private jet is registered in Luxembourg, but authorities are assessing whether it is Russia-owned and if it brought a Russian passenger into the UK, in contravention of sanctions. The plane was reported to be connected to Russian billionaire Eugene Shvidler.

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