Source AP ©

India stops Russian flights in Indian airspace

Indian officials have ordered Russian airlines to stop flying in Indian airspace amid a dispute over air rights.

The order goes into effect immediately, said Moushami Chakravarty, spokeswoman for India's civil aviation ministry.

The order came after Russian aviation officials notified the Indian government that Indian airlines would not be able to fly in Russian airspace after June 15, Chakravarty said.

The two nations' agreement on the use of each others' airspace expires on that date, and talks to renew it have yet to be scheduled, Chakravarty said.

Indian officials appeared to be angry that the communique was sent through the Russian national airline Aeroflot.

"We are surprised that the Russian civil aviation authorities sent a letter through Aeroflot rather than dealing directly with their Indian counterparts," Chakravarty said.

Russian officials and airline officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

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