Starting October 25, Ukraine will not allow any Russian airlines to fly in their airspace. The ban includes major airlines Aeroflot and Transaero.
“In accordance with a decision by the Security Council, the government of Ukraine is adopting a decision to ban flights by Russian companies, primarily Aeroflot and Transaero, to Ukraine,” stated Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. “Airlines with the Russian tricolor have no reason to be in Ukrainian airports.”
The government also said they will ban any flights “if they contain military goods, dual use or Russian military manpower.”
“Only when and if Aeroflot receives official notification from the aviation authorities of Ukraine that flights have been canceled will the company inform passengers and explain the rules on ticket reimbursement,” stated the airline in an official statement.
The former Soviet republic has been at war with Russia since March 2014 when the Kremlin annexed Crimea and invaded east Ukraine.
The Russian government quickly fired back at Ukraine.
“Suspension of air service between Russia and Ukraine would be another act of insanity,” said Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for President Vladimir Putin. “Looking back at the past 20 months, we cannot deny a hypothetical possibility of such acts of lunacy on the part of Kiev.”
Maxim Sokolov, the Russian Transportation Minister, said the “authorities will be compelled to take countermeasures” while insisting the “Ukrainian citizens would suffer first and foremost.”
Christopher Miller at Mashable reports Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will meet in Paris with French and German leaders on October 2. Both will be present at the UN General Assembly in New York next week, but they do not plan to meet then.
However, President Barack Obama and Putin will set aside time to speak next week.
“Given the situations in Ukraine and Syria, despite our profound differences with Moscow, the president believes that it would be irresponsible not to test whether we can make progress through high-level engagement with the Russians,” claimed White House officials.