Russian Authorities Tell Airlines To Expect Delays Due To Belarusian Airspace Ban.

Russia's state air transport agency says changes to routes from Europe to Russia as a result of the dispute between the West and Belarus over the forced diversion of a Ryanair flight to Minsk may result in longer clearance times.

Rosaviatsiya said in a statement on May 28 that it had informed airlines to expect delays after Russia denied access to two European carriers that amended flight plans to skirt Belarus en route to Moscow.

EU leaders have asked European carriers to avoid Belarusian airspace after the incident on May 23. A Belarusian dissident journalist was arrested upon arrival, triggering international outrage.

The European airspace ban has forced Belarus's flagship carrier Belavia to lay off some employees and cancel flights to at least seven European countries and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to discuss the unfolding crisis with Belarus's strongman leader, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, in the Russian resort of Sochi on May 28.

Speaking on May 28 in Lisbon, where European Union foreign ministers are discussing possible economic sanctions against Belarus in response to the diversion of the Ryanair plane, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warned there was a risk of an escalation in the crisis after Moscow denied access to Air France and Austrian Airlines flights.

"It was a big disturbance for air traffic, but we still don't know if these are specific cases or if it is a general move by the Russian authorities," Borrell told reporters.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin said the cancellations of European flights to Moscow were due to “technical reasons,” adding that the measures were taken to ensure aviation safety.

"The aviation authorities are working hard these days. Indeed, the situation is out of the ordinary. Of course, we would prefer that such situations did not arise," spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova struck a harsher tone, accusing Western countries in a Facebook post of being “completely irresponsible” and endangering passengers by banning flights over Belarus.

Air France said it had canceled two flights from Paris to Moscow this week after Russia rejected a flight plan that would have skipped Belarusian airspace.

Austrian Airlines said on May 27 that it had canceled a Vienna-Moscow flight after Russia failed to approve a new flight plan that also avoided Belarusian airspace.

The TASS news agency reported that an Austrian Airlines flight on May 28 was given approval to fly to Moscow while avoiding Belarusian airspace, while others had been given permission to fly the route a day earlier.

With reporting by Reuters, AFP, and TASS

Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/

Related news
Minsk Court Rejects Appeal Of Woman Arrested On Diverted Flight.

Minsk Court Rejects Appeal Of Woman Arrested On Diverted Flight.

A court in Minsk has rejected an appeal by a Russian citizen who was arrested with her boyfriend, Belarusian blogger Raman Pratasevich, after their international flight was diverted by a Belarusian warplane last month and forced to land in Minsk. 

Radio Free Europe

Chinese Rover on Mars Ushers in New Space Race

Chinese Rover on Mars Ushers in New Space Race

Increased competition will push scientists to explore more, US space expert says #mars #spaceexploration #China #UnitedStates

Sky News Breakfast: G7, Brexit and June 21 delay?

Sky News Breakfast: G7, Brexit and June 21 delay?

On Sky News Breakfast with Stephen Dixon: - The PM is expected to agree to the delay of lockdown easing in England pencilled in for 21 June - Brexit tensions continue in Cornwall as the Irish PM tells Sky News Boris Johnson must not ignore the Nor...

Irish PM optimistic solution can be found to NI Protocol row.

Irish PM optimistic solution can be found to NI Protocol row.

Ireland's Prime Minister, Taoiseach Micheál Martin, has told Sky News there is "a route" to resolving tensions over the Brexit Protocol following US President Joe Biden's intervention. He urged Boris Johnson to "very seriously consider" a veterina...

Gordon Brown: G7 summit will go down as 'missed opportunity'.

Gordon Brown: G7 summit will go down as 'missed opportunity'.

Gordon Brown says he thinks this G7 summit will go down as a "missed opportunity" - with not enough committed to vaccinating the world, describing it as a "unforgivable moral failure". The former prime minister says there is no "comprehensive plan...

Labour frontbencher urges lockdown easing delay

Labour frontbencher urges lockdown easing delay

Shadow international trade secretary Emily Thornberry says the scientific evidence is clear and "we can't have a lifting of lockdown at the moment". Ms Thornberry says India should have been put on the red list much sooner, but accuses Boris Johns...

Raab accuses EU of ‘lopsided approach’ to NI Brexit protocol.

Raab accuses EU of ‘lopsided approach’ to NI Brexit protocol.

The foreign secretary Dominic Raab says there has been a "very lopsided approach" to the Northern Ireland Protocol from Brussels. Mr Raab says the EU is not sticking to what was agreed between the two sides and has called for "a bit of respect" fr...