Planes of Russian oligarchs continue to fly over Europe in circumvention of sanctions. In total, about 30 such flights were recorded. About it informs German edition Welt.
In mid-March, the British authorities arrested the plane of the billionaire, the head of the investment company Millhouse, Yevgeny Shvidler, who is considered a friend of billionaire Roman Abramovich. Even before his arrest, his plane flew eight times within the European Union, including in German airspace. The last time Shvidler’s plane flew to London from Hamburg was on 18 March.
The plane of another Russian oligarch, Alisher Usmanov, took off from Munich on February 28 (the day after the closure of airspace). At the same time, another plane of the businessman flew from Florence to Tashkent.
The plane, which is registered in San Marino and operated by a Swiss company, belongs to Russian businessman Albert Avdolyan, flew from Nice to Istanbul on March 2.
Another Luxembourg-registered plane, owned by oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, was also able to leave Europe in April. The plane took off from Basel, crossed EU airspace and landed in Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan.
In addition, the helicopter of billionaire Alexander Zanadvorov flies freely in France. Since the imposition of sanctions, at least eight flights have been recorded.
Such flights of business jets and helicopters are possible due to the fact that they are registered outside of Russia and belong to non-Russian companies. Tracking the planes of the oligarchs is difficult due to opaque ownership structures, shell companies and offshore companies.
The closure of EU airspace to Russian aircraft was part of a package of sanctions that the EU began imposing after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The EU and the US also imposed sanctions against a number of Russian businessmen, their assets were blocked, yachts and planes were arrested, and they themselves were banned from entering European countries.