Russia can rely on China for the supply of spare aircraft parts for its airlines and there are no restrictions on providing these replacements, the Chinese ambassador to Russia, Zhang Hanhui, has told the news agency TASS.

“We are ready to supply spare parts to the Russian Federation. We will organise such cooperation,” he pledged on June 17, adding that the airlines are already working on securing “certain channels” and that “there are no restrictions from China.”

As part of Western sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European Union and the United States banned the sale and supply of Western-made aircraft and spare parts for Russian airlines, as well as insurance or reinsurance for Russian-operated aircraft and their repairs. Moscow has since allowed carriers to continue operating planes leased from foreign companies, most of which have now been transferred to the local register.

Also on June 17, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told the state-owned television channel Russia-24 that Airbus and Boeing would continue to operate safely in Russia for at least the next five years, according to the calculations of the Ministry of Transport.

“The fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft that is currently on the Russian register provides transportation across the country. We cannot fly abroad. Naturally, there is an issue about the safe operation of these aircraft during this period. I think there are parallel import channels, and perhaps Russian industry will also be able to reproduce something,” he summarised.

“But it will certainly not be able to reproduce everything - we have neither the technical nor technological documentation. So we can agree that as the fleet degrades, spare parts will be removed, and this must be provided for. Yet calculations from the Ministry of Transport show that we will be able to live on the operation of this fleet for another five years,” he continued.