The US Justice Department announced on Wednesday having obtained a warrant to seize a Boeing 737-7JU aircraft owned by Russian oil company Rosneft and worth approximately $25 million. The court documents cited in the press release states the probable cause for the intended seizure as violations of the Export Control Reform Act (ECRA) and of the recent sanctions issued against Russia. Those sanctions bar a plane that was built or manufactured in the US from entering Russia without a valid license, the report stated. Airplanes and aircraft parts are subject to export rules because of their potential military use and national security implications. “Specifically, since February 2022, when the export controls that bar the United States-built plane’s re-entry to Russia went into effect, the plane has left and reentered Russia at least seven times, in violation of federal law,” the press release said. “The Boeing jet, which was manufactured in the United States, was last in the United States in March 2014, and is currently believed to be in, or traveling to or from, Russia,” it continued. In August, the Justice Department was approved by a US court to seize a plane belonging to another Russian energy company, a $45-million jet reportedly owned by oil major Lukoil.
Western countries have been on the hunt for sanctioned Russian assets after Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine last year. Thousands of Russian individuals have since been sanctioned, with their property and money seized or frozen by the US, EU, and other countries.
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