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MOSCOW, April 5 (Itar-Tass) — Belarus has notified Russia on a unilateral reduction of the number of commercial flights that the Russian airlines can perform between Moscow and Minsk, the Russian Transport Ministry said in a press release.
“This is puzzling, since an agreement between the two sides was reached at the talks in Moscow March 29 in the presence of Grigory Rapota, the Secretary of the Russia-Belarus Union State,” an official at the Transport Ministry said.
The agreement concerned a prolongation of the program of flights between the two countries through to May 10 and the continuation of talks between their transport authorities.
The preliminary agreement said the Russian and Belarussian airlines would be entitled to making five flights between Moscow and Minsk per day each.
This number of flights is necessary in view of a considerable growth of the numbers of customers during the high season in the warm months of the year compared with the wintertime.
“It’s highly regrettable that the Belarussian side has introduced the restriction that may affect the summer season and the especially important public holiday market in both Belarus and Russia, the VE-Day, on and around which many veterans of World War II and the people accompanying them travel to the former fields of combat operations,” the official said.
The Russian side has sent a request to Belarus to hold an urgent meeting and to begin talks between the Russian and Belarussian officials.