In tit-for-tat move, Germany blocks Russian airlines

German officials say Germany has denied Russian airlines permission to use its airspace after Moscow failed to approve a Lufthansa flight to Russia

In a statement, Germany’s Transport Ministry said the decision was based on the practice of reciprocal approval of flights, and affected connections operated by Aeroflot and budget carrier S7.

The tit-for-tat decision comes amid mounting tension between Russia and the European Union over Moscow’s support for Belarus.

“For Lufthansa flights, timely approval was not received from the Russian licensing authority FATA for the month of June, so Lufthansa flights that were scheduled to take place in the early morning of June 2 had to be canceled in the evening hours on June 1,” the ministry said.

“Due to the underlying reciprocal practice, the German Federal Aviation Authority also did not issue any further permits for flights of the Russian carriers as long as the permits were pending on the Russian side,” it said.

The ministry said it and the German embassy in Moscow were in close exchange with Russian aviation authorities.

“As soon as the FATA approvals for Lufthansa flights are granted by the Russian side, the flights of Russian companies will also be approved,” the ministry said.

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