EU aircraft leasing contracts with Belavia to end, Ireland says

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FILE PHOTO: Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Coveney speaks at the launch of his party's manifesto for the Irish General Election in Dublin
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By Robin Emmott

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union aircraft leasing contracts with state-owned Belarusian airline Belavia will end as soon as the bloc finalises its new round of sanctions against Belarus, Ireland's foreign minister said on Monday.

"The contracts under which they are leased to Belavia will essentially be cut," Simon Coveney told reporters following an EU foreign ministers meeting. "Those planes will either have to be returned or, I presume, legal action will be taken."

Coveney said that of the 30 planes in Belavia's fleet, 17 of them are leased through aircraft companies in Ireland.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop and Robin Emmott)

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