(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. moved Thursday to choke off U.S. exports to three Russian airlines as part of what officials described as an unprecedented enforcement action.
The Commerce Department said the move would prevent the Russian national flag carrier Aeroflot, Utair and Azur Air from receiving items from the U.S., including parts to service their aircraft.
Matthew Axelrod, an assistant commerce secretary for export enforcement, told reporters the sanctioned airlines will largely be unable to continue to fly since they will be cut off from the parts and services needed to maintain their fleets.
The actions, known as temporary denial orders, do allow the Commerce Department to grant exceptions when the safety of a flight would be at risk. The orders extend for 180 days, though they can be renewed.
The private sector has also taken its own action against Russian airlines in response to the war against Ukraine, with Delta Air Lines in February suspending its codesharing partnership with Russian national airline Aeroflot.