Russia Bans Flights from the EUReading Time: < 1 minutes
Two European airlines, Austrian Airlines and Air France, have had to cancel flights to Moscow after Russian authorities denied permission for them to divert around Belarus to be in line with new EU sanctions.
Russia’s ambassador to Austria, Dmitry Lyubinsky, justified the move on Facebook, writing that the “politicization” of flight routes was “unacceptable and would be dangerous in terms of aviation safety.”
Russia claims the EU was wrong to call the forcing down of a Ryanair passenger flight over Belarussian territory by military aircraft a “hijacking” before any investigation had taken place. Lyubinsky added it is a common interest to restart flights between Vienna and Moscow but added that Russia would not bow to political pressure.
The latest developments appear to show that Moscow is at least tolerating the Lukashenko regime’s moves after the EU leaders on Monday agreed to a ban on flying European passenger routes over Belarussian territory.
Meanwhile, Brussels lawmakers are drafting a legally binding ban on Belarusian planes entering EU countries’ airspace.