russian plane pearson

Russian cargo plane that's been stranded at Pearson Airport might be finally leaving Toronto

For over a year, the fate of a grounded Russian plane was up in the air. Now, Canada has announced that it plans to seize the aircraft and give it to Ukraine.

On Saturday, June 10, Global Affairs stated that the Canadian government has "ordered the seizure of a Russian-registered cargo aircraft currently grounded at Toronto Pearson Airport."

The plane has been in Toronto since February 27, 2022 — the same day that Omar Alghabra, Transport Minister of Canada, announced that Canada's airspace would be closed to all Russian aircraft operators.

The plane has also racked up huge fines. According to a Toronto Pearson Airport spokesperson, "the cost works out to $1,065.60 for each 24-hour period."

The move to seize the plane is part of Canada’s efforts to put pressure on Russia to end the war against Ukraine.

Should the plane be forfeited to the Crown, the government said it will give the plane or proceeds from its sale to Ukraine.

"Canada will work with the Government of Ukraine on options to redistribute this asset to compensate victims of human rights abuses, restore international peace and security, or rebuild Ukraine," reads the release.

The plane is believed to be owned by a subsidiary of Volga-Dnepr Airlines LLC and Volga-Dnepr Group. Canada recently imposed sanctions on both companies.

"Today, we are demonstrating that Russia’s actions continue to have consequences," said Alghabra. "We stand with Ukraine and will take any and all necessary actions, including this seizure, to put pressure on President Putin."

In a tweet, Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated, "Canada is sending a clear message to the Russian regime: there will be nowhere left to hide for those who support and profit from this war of aggression."

The plane is the second asset seized by the Canadian government.

In December 2022, the government announced plans to restrain US$26 million from Granite Capital Holdings Ltd. The company is believed to be owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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