UK detains two private jets owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch | Russia
The British government has indefinitely detained two private jets belonging to sanctioned Russian oligarch Eugene Shvidler in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
It comes after Shvidler, a close associate and business partner of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, was sanctioned on a new list of measures targeting 65 Russian oligarchs, banks and defense contractors published on Thursday.
The two jets have been under investigation at Farnborough and Biggin Hill airports for three weeks. But on Saturday the Transport Secretary said he had signed new laws to seize jets and that makes it a criminal offense for sanctioned plane owners to move or fly their plane.
“Since Putin began his unlawful assault I have detained jets belonging to Eugene Shvidler under investigation for three weeks. Now I am using my powers to detain them indefinitely,” Grant Shapps tweeted.
“Putin’s friends who have made millions through his regime will not enjoy the luxury while innocent people die.”
Shvidler was a former boss and shareholder of Abramovich’s steel company, Evraz PLC.
According to the government, his net worth has been estimated at £1.2 billion.
The British government described Shvidler as a “long-time business partner” of Abramovich, and that through his shares in Evraz he had “been involved in obtaining an advantage or the support of the Russian government”.
According to the temperature, the two jets are a $45m (£34m) Bombardier Global 6500 aircraft, registered as LX-Fly, which was seized at Farnborough Airport. The other is a $13m (£9.8m) Cessna Citation Latitude jet at Biggin Hill.
A private helicopter belonging to the Russian company HeliCo Group LLC was also reportedly seized.
Shapps said in a statement: “The introduction of these latest measures – the detention of tens of millions of pounds worth of Russian private jets – shows that this government will leave no stone unturned to deprive Putin’s cronies of their luxury toys.”
The latest legislation means that all aircraft owned, operated or chartered by Russians are not allowed to fly or land in the UK.
Russian ships were also banned from entering British ports, and at least 10 ships were reportedly turned away. The Department for Transport is also examining a “small number” of yachts moored in the UK with suspected links to Russia.
They are part of a series of sanctions imposed by Western countries in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.