A Russian jet was permitted to leave the UK, despite the blanket ban on Russian aviation, leaked memos reveal.
Government Gives Russian Flight the Green Light
Private memos uncovered by the Press and Journal revealed that the UK government allowed a Moscow-bound jet to leave the country in defiance of aviation sanctions on Russia. In February, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps blamed Inverness Airport for allowing the flight to depart, stating that they “failed to comply” with the measures prohibiting Russian flights. However, the leaked documents now reveal that the aircraft was given the green light by UK Home Office’s Border Force.
According to the Press and Journal, air traffic controllers told the airport crew that they had “no reason to intervene” to block the flight, adding that they would “expect contact” from the government’s Department of Transport if there was “anything specific” about the departure.
UK Sanctions Against Russia
Following the war in Ukraine, the UK has imposed several aviation sanctions against Russia. It is a criminal offense for Russian aircraft to fly or land in the UK, and the government has powers to detain or remove aircraft that fail to comply. The sanctions extend to any aircraft: “owned, operated or chartered by anyone connected with Russia or designated individuals or entities,”.
The jet which left Inverness Airport was on a private charter for Moscow, so falls under these guidelines. The plane is registered in Estonia and owned by a private firm. It is not known who was aboard the flight.
It is understood that only one other Russian-operated jet has been allowed to leave the country since sanctions were imposed.
Why do you think the Russia-bound plane was allowed to leave? Let us know in the comments below!