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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Besieged Ukraine: for friendship with the EU, Kiev would pay off the closed sky

The European aviation safety Agency (EASA) is going to ban flights over Kharkov, Dnepr and Zaporozhye because of the proximity of these areas to the area of the ATO. To prevent the actual aircraft insulation all the East of Ukraine, Minister of infrastructure Vladimir Square Omeljan promised before the end of the week to provide the Western organization of evidence of the unreasonableness of its decision.

photo: Gennady Cherkasov

About hanging over the country the threat of the Ukrainian authorities have learned from the deputies of Kharkiv city Council, which before appealed to Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman in an emergency. Despite the fact that Europe had intended to take a decision almost without the knowledge of the Ukraine, Omeljan thanked the European Union for the fact that he did not unilaterally impose an air blockade, and gave Kiev the chance for negotiations.

The head of the infrastructure Ministry reported that EASA explain the need for bans on flights by the increasing demands for security in the European Union. However, what they don’t like the air space over Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov and Zaporozhye, a distance of some 200 or more miles from the combat zone in the Donbass remains a mystery. Moreover, it is unclear why the Europeans decided to impose a ban now, when active hostilities in the region are not conducted. It would be logical to do it after the crash of flight MH-17.

After the tragedy, we will remind, the Ukrainian authorities have closed the airspace over the ATO zone. And in December 2014 in connection with the military-political tensions the US has banned its airlines to fly to Crimea and Dnepropetrovsk. Washington imposed the restrictions will be in effect until October 27, 2018.

If EASA will accept the ballot with the recommendation not to fly over Eastern Ukraine, and no European carrier will not be neglected. Even the Ukrainian carriers will be able to carry people within the country.

According to estimates Kharkiv deputies, the adoption of such a document will lead to an outflow of investments, the closure of the Kharkiv airport related businesses and customs offices, which employ about 1.5 million people. The former head of state aviation service Denys Antonyuk hopes that Kiev will be able to agree about strengthening of security measures instead of a full closure of the sky.

photo: Ivan Skryplev

Why the closure of airspace talking just now, “MK” has found out from the experts.

Denis DENISOV, Director of the Institute for peace initiatives and conflict

— The lateness of the decision EASA is associated exclusively with the traditional feature of European bureaucracy. Only after several years in Brussels have been able to see a threat to air traffic in the East of Ukraine. In fact, Ukrainian airports are a great platform for any provocations. Official Kiev knows this, but does nothing to enhance their security, as this is prevented by the lobbying group of the Ukrainian airlines, primarily interested in personal gain. Even now, faced with the threat of air insulation of all the country’s East, the Ukrainian authorities will not be able to convince the EU of its ability to correct the situation, as they have no mechanisms.

Andrew BUZAROV, a member of the Public Council under the MFA of Ukraine:

— Most likely, EASA recommends to close the sky over Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporozhye, and this is an indication that Ukraine will soon be included in the common airspace with the European Union, with which Kiev is moving closer since then, as forbidden to fly over its territory by Russian aircraft. At this juncture, Brussels wants to insure against the possible negative consequences of unification, it is no secret that many European politicians believe that bordering on the ATO area are in the danger zone. At the same time Ukraine should be free to decide for itself that it is more economically efficient to raise the level of safety or be left without air links with Europe.


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