Tajikistan, Russia Reach Agreement In Standoff Over Flights

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Tajik and Russian authorities say they have reached an agreement aimed at resolving a dispute that has prevented some civilian flights between their countries.

The Tajik-Russian commission for economic cooperation agreed in Dushanbe on January 27 that Tajikistan's privately owned Somon Air company will be allowed to resume its flights to four Russian cities -- Krasnoyarsk, Krasnodar, Ufa, and Orenburg -- beginning on February 3.

Meanwhile, Russia's Yamal Airlines will resume its flights to Tajikistan during the summer from Zhukovsky International Airport in the Moscow region.

In November, with Moscow and Dushanbe disagreeing about the status of Zhukovsky Airport, Russia's Transport Ministry threatened to suspend all Russian flights to Tajikistan.

In December, Dushanbe banned Yamal flights to Tajikistan out of Zhukovsky Airport and Russia banned Somon Air flights from Tajikistan to some Russian regions.

The dispute focused on Dushanbe's claim that Zhukovsky Airport, which was opened in May 2016, was Moscow's fourth international airport and had led to an increased number of flights from Moscow to Tajikistan.

Moscow insists Zhukovsky Airport is not a Moscow airport, but rather is under the authorities in the town of Ramenskoye -- about 40 kilometers southeast of central Moscow.

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