The government of Ukraine has called on the United States to broaden their sanctions on Russia by denying the country software updates for American software and avionics, banning flights from Russia and cutting off the supply of goods to the country’s civil aviation industry.

Russia has in recent days launched a ‘full-scale invasion’ on Europe’s second-largest country and it has subsequently been trying to shore up support from allies.

The effect of the conflict on Ukraine’s aviation industry has peaked in recent days with swathes of airlines cancelling their services to the country and most also avoiding the country’s airspace. The conflict is yet to have a similar impact on Russia’s aviation industry.

Aeroflot tail fins at Moscow Airport
The UK has banned all flights by Russian carriers, including Aeroflot | © Jsylee

Sanctions so far designed to spare Russian citizens

The calls for further action were outlined by a Ukrainian diplomat in Washington, D.C. yesterday in a 14-point memo circulated to US officials. They go far further than existing sanctions promised by the US, which were designed to spare everyday Russian citizens from the full force of the economic effects.

The Biden administration was asked to consider barring US companies from “supplying and updating software in the interests of Russian consumers” and to consider barring the supply of goods and services, including the software used within the Russian aviation industry and specifically within civil aviation.

Reports made earlier in the week suggest the US is already working on sanctions intending to cut off Russia from a broad range of US and foreign-made goods, from computers to aircraft parts.

Other demands outlined in the memo, such as “removing Russia from UN Security Council” and “expelling Russian ambassadors worldwide” are unlikely to be implemented, however targeting the country’s aviation network is seen as more achievable.

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, has called on countries to act swiftly by isolating Russia “by all means, in all formats”.

The impact of sanctions has been called into question by critics as they query the impact, if any, they are likely to have on Russia and more importantly its president, Vladamir Putin. Whether or not implementing sanctions that target the country’s citizens, many of whom have expressed their lack of support for the conflict, is likely to sway Mr Putin is yet to be seen.

Would sanctions designed to target Russia’s aviation industry have an impact? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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