Russia Ukraine conflict

Russia may refuse to return leased aircraft, pay in rubles, according to draft law

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The Russian government plans to order local airlines to pay for leased aircraft in rubles and bar them from returning planes to foreign companies if the latter cancel the lease, according to a draft law published on Thursday.

Western sanctions introduced in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have forced Russian carriers to cancel international flights for fear that their aircraft will be arrested.

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The sanctions have also frozen much of Russia’s foreign reserves and forced authorities to look for ways to limit foreign currency outflows.

Under a law drafted by the transport ministry, Russian airlines will pay their leases in rubles throughout 2022.

If a foreign lessor terminates the agreement, a special government commission is to decide whether the aircraft can be returned; it can rule that the aircraft must stay in Russia.

Read more: Major MNC consumer companies face ‘tradeoff’ supplying Russia with cookies, soap

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