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Ukraine establishes new 'danger zones' for flights over Black Sea

Russian aviation watchdog has called the move "highly provocative"

MOSCOW, November 29. /TASS/. Ukraine has issued a new set of Notices to AirMen (NOTAMs) wherein it establishes new danger areas for flights over the Black Sea, Sergei Izvolsky, the official spokesman for the Russian Federal Aviation Service told TASS.

"New danger areas have been established over the neutral waters of the Black Sea and partly over the Russian territorial waters to the southwest and southeast of the Crimean Peninsula," he said, adding that the Ukrainian authorities had not specified the cause for establishing the areas.

Ukraine's moves to establish new danger areas over the Black Sea are highly provocative, Sergei Izvolsky stated.

"It's only too obvious the politically motivated actions of the Ukrainian government are stretching out beyond the limits of reason and have taken on an exceptionally provocative character," he said.

Izvolsky said an authorized representative of Rosaviatsiya was taking part in a session of the ICAO regional bureau for Europe/North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) underway in Paris.

The discussions there were focused on the efforts to normalize air traffic over the Black Sea.

"Rosaviatsiya believes it necessary to inform the ICAO bureau and ICAO member-states’ officials immediately on an unprecedented challenge, which Ukraine has thrown down to the foundations of international air navigation," Izvolsky said.

Last Friday, Ukraine declared some areas of the airspace over the Black Sea located to the west of the Crimean coast, including a space of six nautical miles within the Russian territorial waters, to be a zone of missile firing exercise, which it scheduled for December 1 and December 2.

Izvolsky said along with it that Ukraine's motion would not interfere with civilian flights over Crimea.

"Rosaviatsiya informs hereby there is no danger for flights over Crimea and the airspace over the (Crimean) peninsula won't be closed for flights," he said.

"Security of Russian airlines flying between Simferopol and other Russian cities is guaranteed," Izvolsky said.

The 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea stipulates the sovereignty of a littoral state over the territorial sea and the airspace above it.

Like in the majority of countries, the width of Russia’s territorial waters totals 12 nautical miles of 22.2 kilometers.