Tajikistan Postpones Suspension Of Russian Flights
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DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan has postponed the suspension of flights by two Russian air companies to Tajikistan after Russia's Transport Ministry invited Tajik aviation authorities to Moscow for negotiations.
The Tajik Transport Ministry said on April 6 that the implementation of the decision to bar the flights was suspended because the sides agreed to hold talks to resolve the situation.
A Tajik delegation arrived in Moscow for the talks on April 6.
A March 31 decision by the Russian Transport Ministry to bar flights by Tajikistan's Somon Air to Moscow from Dushanbe and Khujand came into effect on April 3.
On April 4, the Tajik Transport Ministry warned Moscow that flights by Russia's Ural Airlines and UTair to Dushanbe and the southern city of Khujand would be barred unless Russia revoked its decision.
The Russian ministry said the ban was a response to Tajikistan's refusal to allow Russia's Yamal airline to fly to Dushanbe from the Zhukovsky airport outside Moscow.
In December, the Tajik government banned Yamal flights to Tajikistan out of Zhukovsky airport and Russia banned Somon Air flights from Tajikistan to some Russian regions.
The dispute centers around Dushanbe's claim that the Zhukovsky airport, which opened in May 2016, was Moscow's fourth international airport and had led to an increased number of flights from Moscow to Tajikistan.
Russia contends that Zhukovsky is not a Moscow airport because it is under the formal authority of Ramenskoye, a town outside the capital.
Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.