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No air incidents over Crimea due to missile launches —Transport Ministry

December 01, 2016, 17:58 UTC+3

Earlier on Thursday Ukraine began missile tests in the Black Sea

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MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. The Russian Transport Ministry has observed no air incidents in the airspace over Crimea due to Ukraine’s missile launches, Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov told the media on the sidelines of the exhibition Transport of Russia.

"We have not observed any dangerous close-ups or other factors that might be worthy of attention. All services, and not just those subordinate to Rosaviatsiya, are on guard and keep a close watch on the situation. As for civil aviation and regular flights, we are not at risk at all," Sokolov said.

Sokolov noted that Ukraine’s missile firing drills will affect flight safety in the Black Sea region.

"It [the situation with the conduct of missile launches over Simferopol and the Black Sea] will affect as a whole the solution of the issue of safe flights in Europe and in the Black Sea region," the minister said.

The Ukrainian military started missile exercises, including live launches, near Ukraine’s border with Crimea on Thursday morning. The drills will affect Russia’s airspace over the Black Sea near Crimea. Owing to this, Kiev has announced the air zones over these territories as dangerous for flights but subsequently introduced new high-risk areas over the neutral waters of the Black Sea and partially over Russia’s Black Sea territorial waters southwest and southeast of Crimea.

According to the Russian civil aviation authority Rosaviatsia, Ukraine unilaterally decided on holding missile launches in Russia’s sovereign airspace, which is an area of civil and government planes’ routes.

As the Russian transport minister said, Ukraine’s decision to move away dangerous air zones does not settle the issue of Russia’s claims to Kiev over missile launches.

"We’ll be further studying [Ukraine’s actions] as part of the ICAO-based international air legislation," Sokolov said.

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