Following the petition of the Antonov State Enterprise, 12 An-124-100 Ruslan transport aircraft of the Russian airline Volga-Dnepr have been seized, the Ukrainian law firm Ilyashev & Partners which represents the interests of Antonov in this case reports. The ruling of the Svyatoshinskyi District Court of Kyiv announces the arrest of the planes.
“The ruling has been forwarded to all the competent authorities in the relevant jurisdictions. Consequently, the procedure for the execution of this interim measure has now been initiated,” said Roman Marchenko, Senior Partner, Head of International Arbitration Practice of Ilyashev & Partners.
According to the decisions of the local authorities, three An-124-100 Ruslan aircraft of Volga-Dnepr Airlines are prohibited from departing from Germany and one from Canada. The arrest was imposed to ensure the safety of physical evidence and subsequent compensation for damages.
Rosaviatsiya (Federal Air Transport Agency) illegally granted the right to a company affiliated with Volga-Dnepr Group to issue airworthiness certificates for Ruslan aircraft. In fact, in recent years, Volga-Dnepr has issued certificates to itself, jeopardizing the safe operation of the aircraft, which is a blatant violation of international conventions,” Ilyashev & Partners explained.
The aircraft should be transferred to the Ukrainian National Agency for finding, tracing and management of assets derived from corruption and other crimes.
Volga-Dnepr is a Russian cargo airline founded in 1990 in Ulyanovsk, Russia. In 2006, it began cooperation with the Ukrainian company Antonov Airlines. Under the terms of the contract, the Russian side was in charge of all logistical management, disposing of Antonov aircraft and distributing profits independently, most of which remained in Russia.
After the contract was terminated with the beginning of Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine in 2014, Antonov Airlines has increased its own traffic volumes and significantly outperformed Russia’s Volga-Dnepr. Volga-Dnepr had 12 An-124-100 Ruslan aircraft and five IL-76s at its disposal. Antonov Airlines at the beginning of the war operated 7 An-124-100 Ruslan, one An-225 Mriya and 5 other cargo planes manufactured by the Antonov State Enterprise. The base airport of Antonov Airlines was Hostomel.