According to investigators at the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), 44 passenger aircraft belonging to a Russian air carrier have been seized for violating the procedure for entering and leaving the Russian-annexed Crimea.

The aircraft were seized in connection with criminal proceedings involving violation of the rules of international flights by foreign airlines and illegal transportation of persons across the state border of Ukraine, the CFTS portal reports, citing the Interfax Ukraine news agency.

"A pre-trial investigation established that 37 Russian airlines currently perform regular flights to the annexed peninsula in violation of the provisions of the Ukrainian legislation," the SBU said.

According to the SBU, the seizure of the aircraft and further investigative actions will make it possible to restrict flights by these air carriers’ aircraft, including flights to European countries.