UK expands trade sanctions on Russia including export bans for aviation and space-related items

Wed 9 Mar 2022
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

russia sanctions

The UK government has today (9 march) announced new trade sanctions on Russia, including a ban on the exports of aviation or space-related items and technology to the country.

A statement also said that UK firms will be banned from providing insurance or re-insurance services in relation to these goods and technologies.


The government has also further strengthened sanctions on Russian aircraft, preventing them from landing in or flying over the UK.

Under the new regulations announced today, the government can seize aircraft owned, operated or chartered by anyone connected with Russia or designated individuals or entities.

It said that the new powers will allow it to remove aircraft belonging to designated Russian individuals and entities from the UK aircraft register.

Foreign secretary Liz Truss said: “Banning Russian flagged planes from the UK and making it a criminal offence to fly them will inflict more economic pain on Russia and those close to the Kremlin.”

Farnborough Airport

Reuters reports that one aircraft had already been impounded at Farnborough Airport in southern England while further investigations were carried out.

A British government source said the jet was linked to Eugene Shvidler, a billionaire business associate of Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea Football Club.

Port assistance

British ports have asked transport secretary Grant Shapps for a list of Russian ships that are to be stopped from docking in the UK, reports the FT.

Shapps wrote to ports last week asking them prevent access to any vessels that were “flagged, registered, owned, controlled, chartered or operated” by Russian entities. 


However, help to identify these has not been forthcoming, and internal guidance from the Department for Transport, seen by the FT, said: “It is for companies themselves to conduct their own due diligence.”

Port pilots who guide ships into harbours would be held liable for mistakenly allowing a Russian-connected ship into a port, according to the government.

More EU sanctions

EU ambassadors are expected to finalise measures today to target more oligarchs and elements of the maritime industry.

They will not affect EU ports to avoid disruption in trade and energy supplies, reports Politico.

Sanctions involving ports would also be technically hard to administer, one diplomat said.


The EU is already considering suspending Russia’s most favoured nation trading status at the WTO, which would lead to tariffs on its exports.

Today, EU member states have approved “new sanctions against Russian leaders and oligarchs implicated in the Russian attack on Ukraine and their family members”.

They also clarified the sanctions already in place, including measures for cryptocurrencies, reports the FT.

Oil and gas

The EU has stopped short of a complete oil and gas ban, although it has said it will cut Russian gas imports by two-thirds by the end of the year, reports Aljazeera.

President Biden has gone further, announcing a ban on Russian oil and gas yesterday, with the UK looks to organise an “orderly transition” from Russian oil supplies, with a statement expected soon on gas, reports the FT.

The EU is seeking consensus among member states that are more heavily reliant on Russian supplies than the US and UK.

The latest moves come after Ukraine’s president Zelensky made a historic speech to the Commons yesterday, calling on Boris Johnson to “increase the pressure of sanctions” on Russia.

Boycott latest

McDonald’s is closing its 850 restaurants in Russia but will continue to pay its 62,000 staff.

Consumer brands including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Starbucks, and Unilever have halted or cut back operations in Russia.

Adidas has halted sales in Russia, following other athletic-wear makers like Puma and Nike. It expects its sales in Russia to halve this year after the German sportswear group closed its shops and website in the country.