Russia threatens to introduce retaliatory “mirror” measures if the Tajik civil aviation authorities do not permit Russia’s Ural Airlines to operate flights to Tajikistan.

According a statement released by the Russian Ministry of Transport, Ural Airlines was forced to suspend flights to Tajikistan on March 12 as the Tajik side has not issued permit allowing Ural Airlines to operate flights to the Tajik cities of Dushanbe (from Perm), Khujand (from Krasnodar) and Kulob (from Zhukovsky International Airport).     

The Russian Ministry of Transport calls on the Transport Ministry of Tajikistan to observe obligations it accepted in the framework of international agreements.  

The Russian civil aviation authorities are reportedly ready to begin negotiations in Moscow on March 22 or 23, 2018.

If the Tajik aviation authorities do not approve the program of flights by Ural Airlines on the mentioned air routes, the Russian side reserves the right to introduce retaliatory “mirror” measures against Tajik air carrier, says the statement released by the Russian Ministry of Transport.  

The history of disputes between the Tajik and Russian civil aviation authorities dates back to early November 2016.  The two countries faced the threat of suspension of flights in early November because of a dispute between Moscow and Dushanbe over the status of Russia’s Zhukovsky International Airport, which was officially opened in May 2016.

Dushanbe called for a revision of existing bilateral agreements on mutual air flights, saying that Zhukovsky is Moscow’s fourth international airport and that it has increased the number of flights from Moscow to Tajikistan.

The Russian civil aviation authorities insisted that Zhukovsky International Airport is not under Moscow’s authority but of the town of Ramenskoye.

Tajikistan that time agreed only to flights for Ural Airlines and Tajik Air from Zhukovsky Airport.