Private jet sold by Latvian company taken to Russia via Lithuania in possible circumvention of existing sanctions - media

  • 2023-04-17
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS -  Three private jets have been granted permission to fly from Lithuania to Russia this year, and Lithuania's airspace may be used to circumvent the existing international sanctions to bring aircraft purchased in Europe to Russia, the Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT's Investigation Team reports.

A Beechcraft B24R Sierra, which arrived in Kaunas from Spain via Poland on March 31 and left for Pskov on April 2, is currently being sold in Moscow. The Lithuanian Transport Safety Administration, which issued the permit for the flight from Kaunas to Russia, says the existing international sanctions were not violated in this case.

According to the LRT, the private plane was sold by Latvian company Fly Sky and was used in Spain by FlyUp Academy, a pilot training academy FlyUp Academy. Fly Sky's sole shareholder is Aviaserviso Grupe, a company registered in Vilnius and led by a Lithuanian national who also led Spain's FlyUp Academy until August, 2021.

A Lithuanian pilot and a Kazakh-Russian businessman running businesses in Lithuania were involved in this possible sanction evasion scheme that is now being investigated by Lithuania's Financial Crime Investigation Service, the LRT reports.

Planes were also allowed to fly to Pskov from Lithuania not only on April 2, but also on January 14 and March 15.

Western sanctions imposed after Russia's attack on Ukraine bans sale of airplanes to Russia.