US gets warrant to seize plane owned by Russian oil firm Rosneft

By Reuters   March 8, 2023 | 05:56 pm PT
US gets warrant to seize plane owned by Russian oil firm Rosneft
The Rosneft logo is pictured on a safety helmet in Vung Tau, Vietnam April 27, 2018. Photo by Reuters/Maxim Shemetov
The United States on Wednesday obtained a warrant to seize a Boeing aircraft owned by Russian oil company Rosneft (ROSN.MM) that is valued at over $25 million, the U.S. Justice Department said.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York authorized the seizure, based on violations of export controls and sanctions against Russia, the Justice Department said.

Western sanctions against Russia over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine that began in February 2022 have impeded global trade and complicated financing capabilities of Russian oil firms. Rosneft Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin, a long-standing ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was sanctioned by the United States.

Since the sanctions went into effect, the U.S.-manufactured Boeing 737-7JU aircraft has left and reentered Russia at least seven times, the Justice Department said.

"By violating Commerce Department export controls, Rosneft has converted its jet into contraband," Andrew Adams, a Justice Department official, said.

The Boeing jet was last in the United States in March 2014, and is believed to be in, or traveling to or from, Russia, the Justice Department added.

"Today's enforcement action demonstrates there is a price to pay for Russian companies and oligarchs that flagrantly evade sanctions that the United States has imposed in response to the unjustified war against the people of the Ukraine," U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said.

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