Russian gov’t reiterates threat to close Russian airspace in response to sanctions

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP September 9, 2014 21:45

Russian gov’t reiterates threat to close Russian airspace in response to sanctions

The Russian government stated on Monday that it may still ban Western airlines from flying over its territory as part of an “asymmetrical” response to new European Union sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

Blaming the West for damaging the Russian economy by triggering “stupid” sanctions, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow would press on with measures to reduce reliance on imports, starting with increasing output of domestic aircraft.

Medvedev suggested that Russia should have hit back harder over the action by the United States and European Union to punish Moscow for its role in Ukraine, stating that it had been too patient during the most serious confrontation with the West since the end of the Cold War.

Medvedev told Russian media: “If there are sanctions related to the energy sector, or further restrictions on Russia’s financial sector, we will have to respond asymmetrically.” Medvedev added that airlines of “friendly countries” would be allowed to fly over Russia.
“If Western carriers have to bypass our airspace, this could drive many struggling airlines into bankruptcy. This is not the way to go. We just hope our partners realise this at some point,” Medvedev said.

Medvedev also said the sanctions had done little to bring “calm in Ukraine”, and that Russia “must of course continue on the course of increasing the number of aircraft that are produced in Russia and aircraft parts.”

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Russia and China planned to sign an agreement in October on joint production of a long-haul, wide-body aircraft, and that Russia planned to double output of the Sukhoi Superjet.

Rogozin gave no more details of the planned venture with Beijing, but Russia has been stepping up cooperation with Asia in many areas in order to reduce dependence on Europe or the US as the sanctions take effect.

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP September 9, 2014 21:45