EU THREATENS NATIONS WITH LAWSUITS OVER SIBERIA OVER FLIGHTS

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP January 28, 2011 17:25

EU THREATENS NATIONS WITH LAWSUITS OVER SIBERIA OVER FLIGHTS

The European Union has threatened to charge seven more EU nations including the UK, Sweden and Italy for allowing Russian fees on airlines that fly over Siberia.

The Commission said the aviation agreements the countries, along with the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Luxembourg, signed with Russia may violate EU rules by including provisions on Siberian overflight charges. European airlines pay the fees to Russian carrier OAO Aeroflot for the right to fly between Europe and Asia. However the Commission said that this was in breach of EU antitrust law: “Airlines should not be forced into concluding a commercial agreement with a direct competitor,” it said in a statement.

The commission issued similar warnings against Germany, France, Austria and Finland three months ago.

Russia is the only country in the world to charge for overflight rights. The policy was originally formed during the Cold War, when Russian airspace was out of bounds and Russia excluded Siberia in return for a fee.

The Commission has issued a “letter of formal notice,” to the three countries, which they then have to reply to within two months. A lawsuit at the European court after a second commission warning letter could follow.

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP January 28, 2011 17:25
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