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Belarus to stick to parity principle for Minsk-Moscow flights talks

MINSK, 28 March (BelTA) – During the negotiations between Belarusian and Russian aviation authorities in Moscow on 29 March the Belarusian side will insist that the principle of parity in flights between Minsk and Moscow should be observed, BelTA learned from Igor Cherginets, Deputy Director General of the national air carrier Belavia.
He reminded that parity in the number of flights between Minsk and Moscow is laid down by the intergovernmental agreement on air transport of 12 December 1997. If the principle is bent or broken, Russian air carriers may occupy the Belarusian air transport market, Igor Cherginets believes.
Belavia expects the sides to find a compromise during the forthcoming talks. Things will be done in a normal manner to avoid conflicts that damage passengers, said the official. In his words, it is the aviation authorities of the two countries that will do the talking, representatives of air carriers will stay out of it.
The next day, 29 March Belavia will perform the usual number of flights as planned. “I think the Russian side will not repeat the situation we witnessed on 26 March. They will not take an unfriendly action that will primarily damage passengers,” said Igor Cherginets.
BelTA reported earlier that in the morning of 26 March Belavia had to suspend flights to Moscow because the Russian Federal Agency for Air Transport had revoked Belavia’s permit to perform regular flights between Minsk and Moscow in summer 2012. In response the Belarusian side revoked the relevant permit from all the Russian air carriers. The same day the aviation authorities of the two countries decided to temporarily resume air service between Minsk and Moscow until the negotiations scheduled to take place in Moscow on 29 March are held.