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KIEV, February 18. /TASS/. Ukraine still believes that airspace above Crimea and territorial waters remain closed for aircraft flights, the Ukrainian Infrastructure Ministry said in a comment on the decision by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
"The EASA conclusion only speaks of routes in airspace above the Black Sea," the statement said. According to the Ukrainian side, the airspace above the peninsula and adjacent water area "remains closed for flights of aircraft."
On February 17, EASA reported in a news bulletin that airlines may consider the possibility of flights above separate parts of Crimea, which had earlier been closed. EASA recommended for use two air routes (L851 and M856) above the western part of the Black Sea, proposed by Ukraine in a set of measures to restore the use of air routes in that area.
Meanwhile, Ukraine asked EASA to approve separate routes above Crimea back in the summer of 2015. But EASA did not recommend to perform flights above Crimea over the Ukrainian side’s refusal to accept Russia’s sovereignty over Crimea.
The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.
Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deals March 18, 2014.
Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession from Ukraine was in line with the international law and the UN Charter and in conformity with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, the West and Kiev have refused to recognize the legality of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
Work to integrate the Crimean Peninsula into Russia’s economic, financial, credit, legal, state power, military conscription and infrastructure systems has been actively underway since Crimea acceded to the Russian Federation.