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MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. Starting from midnight December 23 Russian suspends flights of Tajik airline Somon Air to the Russian regions, official representative of the Russian Ministry of Transport told TASS.
According to the Ministry, it includes flights of the airline to all Russian cities, except Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The Ministry representative noted that negotiations of air agencies of Russia and Tajikistan ended earlier. "Tajikistan, in violation of the agreement on air communication between the countries, as well as the protocol from November 7, 2016, has not given permission to Russia’s Yamal airline for flights on from Zhukovsky airport," the representative said, noting that ban on Somon Air flights to Russian regions is a retaliatory measure.
Earlier on Wednesday, an official with Russia’s Transport Ministry told TASS that flight connection between Russia and Tajikistan will be halted on December 22 at 00:00.
The warning of halting flight connection was made amid another round of dispute between Russia and Tajikistan regarding the number of air carriers. The Tajik aviation authorities refused to grant a permit to the Yamal company to conduct flights from the Zhukovsky airport in the Moscow region to Khudzhand in the north of Tajikistan. According to them Yamal flights would break the parity of Russia and Tajikistan in number of airlines selected for serving flights between the two states.
Russia’s Transport Ministry said that the refusal of Tajik aviation authorities was not legally grounded.
For the first time the two countries faced the threat of suspension of flights in autumn. Then the Tajik and Russian aviation authorities failed to agree on flights to the Zhukovsky airport. Tajikistan found that Zhukovsky belongs to Moscow airports and that is why it comes under bilateral agreements in terms of number of carriers. Under the Russian law, Zhukovsky is part of the Ramesnkoye aviation hub (Moscow region).