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UPDATE 1-U.S. targets a second Abramovich plane over sanctions violations

·1 min read

(Adds detail, background)

WASHINGTON, May 20 (Reuters) - U.S. authorities on Friday moved to ground additional aircraft believed to be in violation of sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, including a second airplane owned by businessman Roman Abramovich.

The Commerce Department said a 787 Dreamliner owned by Abramovich had likely violated U.S. export controls, after having identified in March a first aircraft owned by the Russian businessman suspected to be in violation of restrictions.

It also said that it was issuing an order denying export privileges to Rossiya Airlines due to ongoing export violations, the fifth Russian airline to which it has done so.

The Commerce Department warned that providing any service to aircraft subject to its Export Administration Regulations (EAR) that may have violated those controls requires U.S. government authorization.

Failure to do so could result in "substantial jail time, fines, loss of export privileges, or other restrictions," the Commerce Department said.

"By preventing these aircraft from receiving any service, including from abroad, international flights from Belarus or Russia on these aircraft are effectively grounded," the department said.

The department "is further updating the tail numbers of planes already on the list that have flown into Russia and/or Belarus in apparent violation of the EAR."

The department has previously denied export privileges to Russian airlines Aeroflot, Azur Air, UTair and Aviastar.

The United States has hit Russia with a wide range of sanctions since its invasion of Ukraine in February. Russia has called its military action a "special operation." (Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Chizu Nomiyama)

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