Russia will soon allow flights avoiding Belarusian airspace

BELARUS CRISIS

Moscow, May 28 (EFE) .- Russia is studying to allow the entry of European planes that avoid Belarusian airspace soon, after forcing Air France and Austrian Airlines to cancel flights to Moscow by denying them to change their route, as reported today the Russian press.

According to the RBC economic medium, the Russian Federal Agency for Air Transport (Rosaviatsia) is now analyzing the resumption of flights by European airlines to this country without the need to fly over Belarus.

An anonymous source from the Transport Ministry confirmed to RBC that the respective permit will be granted “soon.”

The official quoted by the media explained that the current situation is due to the need to develop alternative routes that avoid the airspace of Belarus, after the conflict between Brussels and Minsk that followed the arrest of a Belarusian journalist critical of the Government.

The Russian Air Transport Agency has so far avoided answering Efe’s questions about the situation.

The Austrian Foreign Ministry said Thursday that “the Russian reaction is not proportional in any way,” and called on Moscow “not to artificially obstruct air traffic between Russia and Europe.”

The international scandal broke out after the forced diversion to the Minsk airport ordered last Sunday by Belarusian President Alexandr Lukashenko of a Ryanair airline flight that covered the Athens-Vilnius route and in which the opposition journalist Roman Protrasevich was.

Since Wednesday, practically only Chinese and Russian airlines have flown over Belarus, according to flight tracking service FlightRadar24.

Among the companies that have decided to avoid Belarusian airspace are – in addition to Air France and Austrian Airlines – Lufthansa, Swiss, Finnair, Iberia, the Polish LOT, Air Baltic, KLM and Ryanair itself.

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In addition, Ukraine has suspended all flights between the two countries and has prohibited its airlines from crossing Belarusian airspace, despite the fact that the Kiev airport will lose 10 percent of its revenue.

Belarusian Belavia in turn announced the cancellation of flights to about a dozen countries, including Spain due to the closure of airspace by the EU for the company.

This Friday Lukashenko will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to address the situation created around the Ryanair flight incident.

Russia has become Belarus’ only support in its last confrontation with the West.

Myrtle Frost

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