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U.S. Bans Exports to 3 Russian Airlines for Sanctions Violations

Aeroflot planes pictured at Sheremetyevo International Airport. Valery Sharifulin/TASS

The U.S. government has banned exports to Russian state airline Aeroflot as well as two other carriers for flying aircraft in violation of sanctions, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

Washington warned last month that the carriers had gone against penalties imposed on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine by flying Boeing aircraft, as had billionaire Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich for his use of a Gulfstream jet.

The Commerce Department cited the warning in announcing that Aeroflot as well as Azur Air and Utair were banned from receiving American goods for the next 180 days.

"We are cutting off not only their ability to access items from the United States but also re-exports of U.S.-origin items from abroad," Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement.

"Any companies that flout our export controls, specifically those who do so to the benefit of Vladimir Putin and the detriment of the Ukrainian people, will feel the full force of the department's enforcement."

Commerce announced no action against Abramovich, who has been participating on the Russian side in peace talks with Ukraine held in Turkey.

The statement said the sanctioned airlines had operated flights within Russia as well as to countries including China, Vietnam, Turkey, India and the United Arab Emirates without seeking U.S. permission as the sanctions require.

Separately the U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against one of the world's largest diamond mining companies, the Russian state-owned Alrosa.

The State Department also blacklisted state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) as well as its subsidiaries and board members.

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