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Russia to Consider Restrictions Against Ukrainian Airlines

Aeroflot currently offers regular flights to Ukrainian cities such as Kiev, Odessa and Kharkiv.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered the transportation ministry to consider retaliatory restrictive measures against Ukraine for banning Russian flights to and over its territory, government spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said Monday.

Last week, Kiev said it was banning flights by Russian airlines from Oct. 25 as part of a wave of sanctions against Russia over its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said planes flying Russia's tricolor flag have no place in Ukraine.

The move saw 25 Russian airlines, including major carriers Aeroflot and Transaero, banned from Ukraine as part of broader sanctions against Russian firms announced by Kiev two weeks ago.

Russia's biggest carrier Aeroflot told the TASS news agency Monday that it has already received notice from Ukraine that its aircraft will be restricted from flying to destinations in that country.

“We can confirm that we have received a letter from the Ukrainian authorities on the termination of flights by Aeroflot to Ukraine from the beginning of the winter schedule, which begins on Oct. 25,” an unidentified Aeroflot spokesperson told TASS.

Aeroflot currently offers regular flights to Ukrainian cities such as Kiev, Odessa and Kharkiv. The majority of flights connecting Russia and Ukraine are operated by local carriers, and mutual bans would significantly limit air travel between the two nations.

Other Russian airlines including Transaero and Rossia also received notices from the Ukrainian government on Monday, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

(MT, Reuters)

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