DALLAS – Russian President Vladimir Putin has decreed that Russian airlines will be able to use rubles via accounts at Russian banks to pay leasing companies from “unfriendly” countries for the use of aircraft and engines.
The decree was made public in a post on Russia’s internet portal for legal information.
The decree determines that obligations to carry out rent, leasing, and other payments “are deemed to be properly fulfilled if they are [done so] before their main resident business companies by the debtor transferring to the account of the main resident business company, opened with a Russian lending institution, funds in rubles in an amount equivalent to the value of obligations in foreign currency (regardless of the currency in which such value is expressed) and calculated at the official exchange rate of the Central Bank of Russia on the date obligations are fulfilled.”
The decree also authorized the government to determine a procedure for settlements with lessors “other than that established by the decree hereof.”
The decree said the measure will be temporary, but the exact duration was not revealed.
Some of the sanctions Western countries imposed upon Russia in late February due to its invasion of Ukraine hit the aviation sector.
These include a ban on the supply of civil aircraft and spare parts to Russia, as well as providing for the maintenance and insurance of the aircraft. Russia must, according to the sanctions, return to foreign leasing companies the aircraft already in operation in the country.
Most airlines have been notified that “sanctioned aircraft” are being recalled but have continued to operate them. However, Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov has said that Russia will keep most of its Boeing and Airbus aircraft despite the Western sanctions.
Featured image: Aeroflot A350 in Rome. Photo: Daniel Veronesi/Airways