13 Apr 2022 11:21

Russian govt approves rules for settlements for leasing foreign planes amid sanctions

MOSCOW. April 13 (Interfax) - The Russian government has approved rules governing payments for leasing and purchase of foreign planes amid the Western sanctions.

A relevant resolution was signed by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, according to a report posted on the government's website. The document itself has not been published yet.

"If a foreign leasing company from an unfriendly country has a structural division registered in Russia, payments will be made to its account in a Russian bank in rubles in an amount equivalent to the value of liabilities in a foreign currency. Payments will be made according to the official rate of the Bank of Russia as of the day of fulfilment of liabilities," the report said.

"If a foreign company associated with an unfriendly country works with Russian partners through a structural division in a state that has not joined the sanctions, payments will be made in the national currency of the state where this structural division is registered, or in rubles," the government said.

The resolution was drafted to enforce Russian President Vladimir Putin's decree of April 1 On Temporary Procedures for Fulfilling Financial Obligations in the Sphere of Transport to Some Foreign Creditors. By that decree, Putin essentially allowed Russian airlines to pay leasing companies from "unfriendly" countries for lease of planes in rubles through accounts in Russian banks.

A number of Western countries imposed sanctions against Russia over the special military operation in Ukraine in late February. Some of them hit the aviation industry. In particular, a ban was imposed on the supply to Russia of civil planes and parts, the provision of technical maintenance services and insurance services. The planes that are being used in the country are to be returned to foreign leasing companies.

Most airlines received notices of the recall of "sanctioned" planes, but continued using them. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov said the authorities had decided that most of the foreign Boeing and Airbus planes would stay in Russia despite the Western sanctions.