Friday, June 23, 2017

Air restrictions imposed by EU prompt discussion of retaliatory measures in Russia

Members of the Russian federal government met on Tuesday to discuss possible retaliatory measures following the recently imposed restrictions from Western countries on Russian air carriers.

Present at Tuesday's meeting was Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov and the head of Russia's Aeroflot air carrier. During the meeting, Medvedev ordered the Ministry of Transport to ensure that all Russian citizens who have booked flights on Dobrolet are able to transfer their tickets to other air companies unaffected by the recent restrictions, RIA Novosti reports.

Dobrolet was forced to suspend all flights starting Monday after the EU placed the airline on a blacklist for continuing to operate flights to Crimea. The sanctions have compelled Dobrolet and Aeroflot, its parent company, to cancel lease agreements with aircraft manufacturers.

Despite the sanctions, Dobrolet announced that it will begin performing flights to other Russian cities including Volgograd, Samara, Ufa, Perm, Yekaterinburg, Surgut and Kazan, according to RIA Novosti.

Earlier this year, the U.S. and EU acted collaboratively to impose targeted sanctions against a number of Russian officials and private companies in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea. As a result, many officers in Russia's Foreign Ministry have made public statements indicating the sanctions will have negative impacts on the economies of other European countries.