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Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill that will enable the nation’s airline companies to register aircraft leased from foreign firms and continue operating them domestically, Reuters reported.
With this move, Russia aims to counter the sanctions imposed by the West for its military offensive against Ukraine.
This further increases uncertainties for foreign lessors, who have $10bn worth of jets leased with Russia.
Recently, the EU suspended the sale or leasing of planes to Russia, giving global aircraft leasing firms a 28 March deadline to retrieve them.
Currently, Russian airlines hold nearly 780 leased jets, with 515 leased from foreign lessors, according to Reuters.
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By re-registering jets in the country, Russia intends to continue domestic airline operations by offering access to new security approvals.
Aircraft leasing company AerCap and other lessors declined to comment on this latest Russian law.
Russian airlines Aeroflot and S7 also declined to comment on this development.
The Russian move comes shortly after the Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority suspended airworthiness certifications for all Russian-operated aircraft registered in the country.
The decision was said to have been taken over safety concerns.
Airworthiness certificates are issued by the country’s civil aviation authority, where the aircraft is registered and planes are not allowed to operate without this certificate.
Meanwhile, recently Interfax reported that China refused to deliver aircraft parts to Russia. According to the news agency, Russia is now seeking the support of countries such as India and Turkey.