UK grounds plane ahead of inquiry into possible Russian links

UK authorities have grounded another plane to investigate possible links with Russia, the transport secretary has announced.

Russian airlines and private jets are prohibited from landing in the UK and it is a criminal offence for any Russian aircraft to fly or land in the UK.

The ban includes any aircraft owned, operated or chartered by anyone connected with Russia or designated individuals or entities on the sanctions list. It also allows the government to detain any aircraft owned by anyone connected with Russia.

On Saturday, Grant Shapps tweeted: “Today I have taken rapid action to identify and ground another plane pending inquiries about possible Russian links. We are continuing to take decisive action against Putin and his illegal war in Ukraine.”

A source said the government issued a notice to airmen at 10.22am to prevent a flight that is in dispute from taking off from London Biggin Hill Airport.

The Cessna Citation Latitude 680A plane, owned by Brooker Holdings Ltd, will remain at the airport while an investigation is undertaken into any potential affiliations with Russia.

Last week, the UK impounded a private jet linked to Eugene Shvidler, a billionaire Russian oligarch, on the orders of Shapps.

The Luxembourg-registered aircraft flew from the US state of New Jersey into Farnborough airport, Hampshire, on 3 March.

The Bombardier Global 6500 jet had been due to fly from the UK to Dubai but UK authorities prevented this while they investigated whether it was permanently leased to Shvidler and fell under UK sanctions.

Shapps revoked the plane’s foreign carrier permit, meaning it could not legally carry passengers, and issued a restriction of flying order, in effect grounding the plane.

Shvidler has not been personally sanctioned by the UK government at any stage.

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