The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) has authorised the B737 MAX to operate in its airspace. However, as the move is limited to friendly countries only, Belarus's Belavia (B2, Minsk National) is the only beneficiary of the decision.

Unusually, Russia did not issue its own statement about the type's ungrounding. Instead, the news was shared by the Belarus Ministry of Transport and Communications and was subsequently confirmed by the Russian state-owned news agency TASS.

Belavia's sole B737-8, EW-528PA (msn 43344), crossed Russian airspace for the first time on July 21, 2022, operating from Minsk National to Kutaisi in Georgia, Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows. It has since been regularly deployed on a variety of eastbound routes from Minsk, including to the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Russia itself. The aircraft was delivered to Belavia in April 2021, when most countries in the world (including Belarus) had already ungrounded the type. It was briefly deployed on services to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion, Larnaca, Kyiv Boryspil, and Warsaw Chopin between July 19 and July 27, 2021, all of which bypass Russia. It was subsequently grounded as Belavia was banned from the EU after the state-orchestrated hijacking of a Ryanair B737-800. For the next year, EW-528PA was parked in Minsk operating only test flights within Belarus. The carrier owns the aircraft, having bought it from Air Lease Corporation.

For its part, S7 Airlines (S7, Novosibirsk) would have been the only Russian MAX operator with two MAX 8s in its fleet, leased from each of Air Lease Corporation and Aviation Capital Group. The privately-owned carrier is reportedly seeking to return the aircraft to their lessors to comply with the termination of the leases due to sanctions on Russia but first needs to secure the Kremlin's approval.

All European Union carriers and airlines from countries opposing Russia's invasion of Ukraine are banned from Russian airspace.