June 02, 2021 – 23:46
Berlin has blocked flights of Russian airlines arriving in the Federal Republic, thus responding to Moscow’s refusal to authorize Lufthansa flights. According to AFP, the German Ministry of Transport acted on the principle of reciprocity
The decision of the German government states that: “In accordance with the practice of reciprocity, the Federal Aviation Authority does not issue further permits for flights of Russian airlines until the authorizations are suspended by the Russian side.”
The decision comes amid growing tensions between Russia and the European Union over Moscow’s support for Belarus.
The 27-nation bloc and the United States last week introduced new sanctions against Belarus after authorities there diverted an international flight to arrest a dissident journalist. The sanctions fall on those imposed on Belarusian officials, including its authoritarian leader, President Alexander Lukashenko, for rigging elections and cracking down on protests last year.
The German Ministry of Transport said Russia “unilaterally” suspended bilateral air traffic agreements between the two countries in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Flights since then have been mutually approved on a monthly basis, she said.
The ministry said she and the German embassy in Moscow were in close exchange with Russian aviation authorities./A2