Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg, Russia, will be wholly under Russian control after President Vladimir Putin ordered all rights to the management of the airport to be transferred to a new domestic company within the country. 

Putin’s decree allows foreign shareholders such as the Qatari wealth fund and the Abu Dhabi sovereign fund Mubadala Investment Co. to remain investors in the airport but strips them of voting rights. 

While some of the airport’s international investors, such as Germany-based Fraport, had already announced they would be halting business with the airport, the new decree will see shareholdings in the Cyprus-registered concession that runs Pulkovo consolidated in a new Russian company. 

Bloomberg reported that Fraport would be “evaluating the consequences of the Kremlin’s decision” though there has been no interaction between the company and Russia since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. 

The company’s reaction is indicative of the background to Russia’s announcement, which forms part of anti-sanction measures against the wide range of international sanctions introduced against the country since it began its invasion of Ukraine. 

The document introducing the action around Pulkovo’s ownership described the move as taking place “in view of a threat to national interests and economic security” stemming from the foreign interest in the management of Northern Capital Gateway, the company responsible for the airport. 

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However, despite the sanctions placed on the country, and a significant number of countries banning Russian airlines from their airspace, Russia’s travel industry has still been able to continue operating with flights to countries not involved in the sanctions such as Turkey, which has welcomed more than 6.8 million flights from Russia in 2023.