Kiev, April 3: The Ukrainian government on Wednesday banned chartered flights between Ukraine and Russia, but for those required by UN missions, the Red Cross and the Organisation for Security Cooperation of Europe (OSCE). The decision was taken after Yuriy Boyko, a Ukrainian presidential candidate and founder of the "Opposition Platform - For Life" party, along with a party representative, visited Moscow last month, TASS news agency reported.
"We've analysed presidential candidate Boyko's flight to the aggressor state. He took advantage of a loophole in our legislation and flew from Kiev to Moscow for talks with the aggressor state's Prime Minister. Therefore, we propose a resolution to amend regulations on the use of the Ukrainian airspace," Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said. The resolution was submitted for consideration to protect state security by eliminating loopholes for irregular air services between Ukraine and Russia, reports said. Ukraine-Russia Tensions: Poroshenko Wants NATO to deploy Naval Ships in Sea of Azov.
In 2015, Kiev barred all Russian airlines from flying to Ukraine, which was promptly retaliated by Moscow. Transit flights between the two ex-Soviet neighbours were also suspended. Relations between Kiev and Moscow have been deteriorating since early 2014 over Crimea and eastern Ukraine issues.