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The UK has impounded a private jet registered in Luxembourg, suspecting it was in use by Russian oligarchs, contrasting the country with the Grand Duchy, which said on Wednesday it had no list allowing it to go after the luxury possessions of the billionaires backing the Kremlin.
UK transport secretary Grant Shapps blocked the jet from leaving Farnborough airport, as officials investigated if the plane was owned by Russians banned from flying after their country unleashed war upon Ukraine two weeks ago, the UK government said on Wednesday.
The United Kingdom froze the assets of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich on Thursday, focusing attention on his business interests including a Luxembourg holding company belonging to a steel producer the British linked to Russia's defence industry.
Abramovich, famous for owning London's Chelsea Football Club, derives most of his €11.7 billion fortune from a 28% stake in Evraz PLC, which produces steel for Russia's defence industry and other customers. It is the sole owner of Evraz Group SA, a Luxembourg subsidiary that held assets worth over €4.6 billion in 2020.
Luxembourg air freight liner Cargolux began adding a war surcharge to customers' bills this week to compensate for having to fly around Russian airspace on journeys to and from its second home in China.
Cargolux's war fee of €0.18 per kilogram was notable as among the first in the business, Danish freight forwarding company Scan Global Logistics said.
Adrian Specker, a 30-year old German accountant, had just come back from driving 3,400 km across Europe with a stranger to pick up Ukrainian refugees and bring them to cities where they could shelter from the war.
After a road trip that brought him to Wiesbaden, Prague, the Medyka border crossing in Poland and then back to Prague, Frankfurt and Luxembourg, Specker was telling what it was like to spend six days in a Volkswagen Sharan with another volunteer from Luxembourg he had never met.
Wearing face masks and displaying Covid passes have been scrapped in most places in Luxembourg after lawmakers approved the removal of the majority of pandemic-related restrictions on Friday.
People no longer have to wear a face mask or show their CovidCheck pass to prove they have been vaccinated, recently recovered from the virus or tested negative to enter bars, cafés and restaurants.