Germany prohibits Russian flights in its airspace after Moscow bans Lufthansa
Berlin, Jun 2 (EFE).- Germany, for the moment, will not authorize Russian flights in its airspace in response to Moscow’s decision not to allow arrivals of Lufthansa aircraft – Germany’s biggest airline – at its airports.
German media reported the decision by the Federal Office of Aviation and the Transportation Ministry, and said that several flights had been cancelled due to the decision, including seven by Russia’s state-run airline Aeroflot.
The Germany Transportation Ministry and Berlin’s embassy in Moscow are in close contact with Russian authorities and will authorize flights from Russia to resume as soon as the Russian decision affecting Lufthansa is reversed, according to reports.
The spark that caused this conflict to erupt was the fact that Russian authorities did not meet the deadline to authorize Lufthansa flights for the month of June.
The differences between the two countries on this matter, however, date back to the start of the coronavirus pandemic, when Russia unilaterally decided to suspend the bilateral accords governing air traffic with Germany.
As a result, air traffic between Russia and Germany has been substantially reduced in recent months and the continuation of such traffic must be approved on a monthly basis on the principle of reciprocity.
The conflict comes amid another controversy between Moscow and several European countries after Russian air authorities failed to authorize the arrival of several flights that requested an alternative route to avoid Belarusian airspace.
On April 23, the Belarusian regime of Alexander Lukashenko diverted a commercial flight en route from Greece to Lithuania that was passing through its airspace, forcing it to land in Minsk to be able to arrest a Belarusian journalist who has been critical of the regime, Roman Protasevich, who was on board.
Russia, a close ally of Belarus, alleged that the cancellations of the flights were being made for technical reasons, namely because the affected flights did not have approved alternate routes, a claim that was received with skepticism by the European Union.