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Ukraine Rejects Bid By Moscow To Stop Mutual Air Flight Bans

Flights between Ukraine and Russia will be banned starting this weekend despite a last-ditch effort by senior Russian officials to prevent the ban, Ukraine's infrastructure minister said October 24.

"From October 25, there will not be air traffic with Russian cities," Minister Andrei Pivovarsky told Russian news agencies.

Russian and Ukrainian officials met in Brussels October 23 as part of a Russian-led effort to prevent the Ukrainian-initiated ban on flights between the countries.

Russian Transportation Minister Maxim Sokolov told reporters that his country would continue to push for the bans to be removed, arguing that Ukraine should go along because 75 percent of air travelers between Russia and Ukraine are Ukrainian.

Ukraine announced late last month that it would ban flights from Russia starting on October 25. Russia quickly retaliated with a
tit-for-tat ban that would go into effect on the same day.

Ukraine made the announcement despite several weeks of relative calm in the country's two eastern-most regions.

Based on reporting by dpa and TASS