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US applies restrictive measures to Russian airline for re-exporting Boeing jet to Iran

September 03, 2015, 20:08 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
The US claims the airline bypassed the rules and regulations effective in the US
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© AP Photo/Scott Heppell

WASHINGTON, September 3. /TASS/. US Administration has taken a decision to apply restrictive measures to the Russian airline Bashkortostan, says an official order published on Thursday by the Bureau of Industry and Commerce of the US Department of Commerce.

As follows from the document, the US government accuses the airline, which it calls Air Bashkortostan, of re-exporting Boeing jet to Iran in bypass of the rules and regulations effective in the US.

Specifically, the Department of Commerce says the airline re-exported a Boeing-757 jet from Russia to Iran between January 7, 2009, and March 19, 2009 in violation of the regulations and rules in effect in the US The transactions were valued at a total of $ 4.5 million.

Some of the rules the transactions ostensibly violated were related to control "for antiterrorism reasons," it said.

"The aircraft were reexported pursuant to lease agreements between Air Bashkortostan and Eram Air, an airline based in Iran, and were operated on flights into and out of Iran […]," the order said.

"During the period of the leases, the maintenance of the aircraft was performed in Iran," the document indicated.

Nor did Bashkortostan try to obtain appropriate authorizations from the US governmental agencies.

By way of punishment, "[…] Air Bashkortostan "shall be assessed a civil penalty in the amount of $350,000, all of which shall be suspended for a period of one year from the date of this Order, and thereafter shall be waived, provided that during this one-year probationary period, Air Bashkortostan has committed no violation of the Act, or any regulation, order, License, or authorization issued thereunder."

The specification of punishment also says: " […] for a period of one (1) year from the date of this Order, Air Bashkortostan […] and when acting for or on its behalf, its successors, assigns, directors, officers, employees, representatives, or agents, (hereinafter collectively referred to as "Denied Person"), may not, directly or indirectly, participate in any way in any transaction involving any commodity, software or technology […] exported or to be exported from the United States."

Last but not least, the order stipulates that "[…] any person, firm, corporation, or business organization related to the Denied Person by affiliation, ownership, control, or position of responsibility in the conduct of trade or related services may also be made subject to the provisions of the Order."

In the meantime, Russia’s Federal Agency for Air Transport (Rosaviatsiya) annulled the airline’s license for operations back in January 2015. It said in an explanatory note for the decision that the airline had been operating a small fleet of jets consisting of three Boeing 757-200 for a number of years and had mostly engaged in chartered transportations on domestic and international flights.

"The airline’s fleet was slashed to just one jet at the end of September 2014 and the company stopped conforming to requirements spelt out by the Federal Aviation Regulations," Rosaviatsiya said.

"In this connection and as part of the measures to tighten control over the operations of the airlines failing to meet civil aviation requirements, Rosaviatsiya suspended the operational certificate of Bashkortostan Airline Ltd. in October 2013 and issued Order No. 4 on January 10, 2014, to annul the certificate," the report said.

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