MONTREAL (Reuters) – The UN’s aviation agency wants to open a new route for commercial air-craft in international airspace over the Black Sea that will be managed by Ukraine and without “interference” from Russia, the agency’s secretary-general said.
Raymond Benjamin said the International Civil Aviation (ICAO) Organization is in talks to open new flight paths over parts of the Black Sea, closed to air traffic last year due to conflict in the region.
Reuters reported on Monday that Ukraine and Russia were in indirect talks on a deal that would allow air traffic to resume in international air-space over the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
That airspace, managed by Ukraine, is off the coast of the Crimean Peninsula, which was for-cibly annexed by Russia last year.
“What we would like now is to open a new route (air corridor).
“We are in discussions with Ukraine about this and the Ukraine has submitted a certain number of proposals to this effect that we are examining,” Benjamin said in an interview on the sidelines of a global safety conference at ICAO headquarters.
Benjamin declined to identify the exact loca-tion of the new route.
Russia’s ICAO delegation did not respond to requests for comment.
Earlier on Wednesday, Russia’s Interfax news agency said a Russian agency was controlling air traffic in that area, citing a source, and denied talks were ongoing.