In a move to further pressure the Belarusian government, the U.S. Department of Commerce on December 7, 2023, extended export restrictions against the national carrier, Belavia. The sanctions, initially imposed in June 2022, followed Belarus's violation of restrictions set in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Despite stringent measures, Belavia has persistently operated flights using American-made aircraft, skirting around sanctions.
Continued Violation of Sanctions
The Belarusian airline's defiance of sanctions has prompted the U.S. to maintain export limitations on aviation products, spare parts, software, among others, as well as their maintenance and repair services. The sanctions, due to last for 180 days, were renewed in December of the previous year, and once more in the summer of 2023.
Belavia’s Fleet and the Impact of Sanctions
According to the Telegram channel 'OtVinta,' which specializes in Belarusian aviation, seven of the eight Boeing aircraft owned by the national carrier continue to fly. One Boeing 737-300 (registration EW-366PA) has been stored at the National Airport since December 24, 2022. The continued operation of these American-made aircraft demonstrates the airline's evasion of U.S. sanctions.
U.S. Senate Blocks Aid to Ukraine
In a related development, the U.S. Senate has stalled a bill meant to aid Ukraine. This has sparked concern in Kyiv about the potential of losing the conflict without American weapons. Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress is preparing for a new Belarus Democracy Act.