MOSCOW, September 25. /TASS/. Kiev’s decision to stop air service with Russia, if it is really taken, will be another act of utter lunacy, Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
"I don’t know whether Russia’s aviation authorities have been notified by their Ukrainian colleagues, but what I can say is this - suspension of air service between Russia and Ukraine would be another act of insanity," he said.
He did not rule out that such a decision would finally be taken by the Ukrainian authorities. "Looking back at the past 20 months, we cannot deny a hypothetical possibility of such acts of lunacy on the part of Kiev," he noted.
Peskov said he doubted if Ukraine’s prime minister had the authority to halt air service with Russia. "Under international law, it can be done only by a country’s aviation authorities through special channels provided by this international law," he said.
Earlier on Friday, Ukraine’s cabinet took a decision to ban all flights to the country by Russian air companies.
At the instruction of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk Ukraine’s State Aviation Service started to inform Russian airlines put on the sanctions list that they would not receive permission for making flights to Ukrainian cities from October 25, 2015, the press service of Ukraine’s ministry of infrastructure said.
Ukraine has also banned Russian air companies’ transit flights via Ukraine if they carry goods of defense or dual purpose or Russian manpower.
According to earlier reports, Russia’s biggest air carrier, Aeroflot, along with 20 more Russian air companies were blacklisted by the Ukrainian authorities. These companies were banned, partially or completely, to make flight to destinations in Ukraine or via Ukraine. The sanction list includes Aeroflot subsidiearies Rossiya, Donavia, Orenburg Airlines and Transaero, as well as S7 (Sibir, Russia’s third air carrier in terms of passenger traffic) and Urals Airlines (ranked fifth).
The blacklist also features such air companies Globus, Vim Avia, Kogalymavia, Gazpromavia and Red Wings, all ranked among Russia’s top 30.