Russia suspends flights over Crimea and Black Sea

The region was declared temporarily dangerous for aircraft operations. Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Defense decided to suspend the passage of foreign warships and other public vessels ships in three areas of the Black Sea.

Russia has limited aviation flights over the southern part of the Crimean Peninsula and the adjacent waters of the Black Sea, Interfax reports with reference to the international Notices to Airmen (NOTAM).

"The region has been declared temporarily dangerous for aircraft," the agency said. 

According to NOTAM, the restricted area includes airspace over the southern part of the Crimea from Sevastopol to Feodosia. The area over the territorial waters adjacent to the southern coast of the Crimea, as well as over part of the international waters of the Black Sea, was also closed for flights.

The flights have been restricted only for four days, on April 20-24. The reasons behind the decision remain unknown. 

Last week, the Russian Defence Ministry suspended the passage of foreign warships and other public vessels in three areas of the Black Sea for six months, from April 24 to October 31.

  • It goes about an elongated water area along the coast of the Crimea (from Sevastopol to Gurzuf),
  • a rectangular area off the coast of the Kerch Peninsula (on the beam of the Opuksky nature reserve),
  •  a small area of ​​the sea near the western tip of Crimea.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry called the decision "a violation of the norms and principles of international law." Washington and NATO expressed concern over the restriction of navigation.