The United States Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has taken action against Pobeda Airlines, a low-cost subsidiary of the Aeroflot Group, accusing it of violating US sanctions. Pobeda Airlines, based in Moscow Sheremetyevo, has allegedly been importing US-origin aircraft parts, in contravention of US sanctions.

According to OFAC, Pobeda Airlines has been relying heavily on sanctions evasion and procurement networks to obtain aircraft parts of US origin. The airline is accused of importing over USD 1 million worth of US-origin components in 2023 alone.

These components, identified by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), were allegedly sourced from various US-designated entities, including A T S Heavy Equipment and Machinery Spare Parts Trading, Crynofist Aviation FZCO, Alpha Visit Shop Dis Ticaret Limited, and Polarstar Logistics LLC.
Pobeda Airlines and co-operation with Mahan

Pobeda Airlines has also been accused of collaborating with Iran’s Mahan Air.

Mahan Airlines has faced sanctions due to its connections with Iran’s nuclear program and other geopolitical issues.

This designation was based on Mahan Air’s support to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and its involvement in transporting terrorists and lethal cargo.

Mahan Air has transported IRGC-QF operatives, weapons, equipment, and funds abroad in support of the terrorist group’s regional operations. It has also moved weapons and personnel for Hizballah.

As a result of these sanctions, Mahan Air’s U.S. assets were frozen and US entities stopped dealing with these airlines.
Consignee for Transport from India

Pobeda has been implicated in the transportation of aircraft parts from India to Russia as recently as January 2024 through its continued cooperation with US-sanctioned entity, Iran-based Mahan Air. Pobeda Airlines was the consignee of the trade.

These actions by Pobeda have not only violated US export controls but have also aided and abetted Russia’s continued illegal efforts to expropriate Western-origin aircraft and aviation components.

As a consequence of these actions, under Russia-related General License 95, foreign suppliers have been given until June 30, 2024, to wind down all transactions with Pobeda Airlines. This effectively puts a halt to any further dealings with the airline from foreign suppliers.

This move by OFAC marks the first time one of Aeroflot Group’s carriers has been designated. Pobeda Airlines operates a fleet of forty-two Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Earlier, the UK imposed sanctions on Aeroflot.

Britain has escalated its sanctions against Russia by freezing the assets of five Russian banking and arms-manufacturing tycoons. Additionally, as part of this package of sanctions, the Russian airline Aeroflot has been banned from landing in Britain.

These measures come in response to Russia’s continued aggression, including its actions in Ukraine and its support for the Assad regime in Syria. The UK government has stated that these sanctions are designed to target individuals and entities that are closely linked to the Russian government and are believed to have profited from its aggressive actions.

The freezing of assets is intended to prevent these individuals from accessing their wealth in the UK, while the ban on Aeroflot is a symbolic move aimed at putting pressure on the Russian government. The UK government has stated that it will continue to work with its allies to impose further sanctions on Russia if its aggressive actions continue.

It is worth noting that Pobeda Airlines had previously faced sanctions from the US Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in June 2022. These sanctions were imposed for the airline’s continued operation of US aircraft, which was in violation of sanctions imposed in February of that year.

While the BIS sanctions primarily affected export privileges and banned designated companies from purchasing any US-origin components, the recent OFAC sanctions are broader in scope. They pertain to any transactions with the sanctioned company or any facilitation of such transactions.

The actions against Pobeda Airlines are part of a broader effort to enforce sanctions against Russia and its affiliates. These sanctions aim to restrict Russia’s access to US-origin goods and technology and to curb its ability to evade such sanctions through third-party entities.

Source » msn