Georgia has introduced limitations on Russian planes' flights over its territory, said Georgian transport and communications minister Merab Adeishvili at a press conference in Tbilisi on Thursday. This unfriendly action was supposedly a response to Russia's decision to impose limitations on Georgian planes, allowing them to fly over Russia only from 2 till 8 in the morning, since August 2, 2002.
The flights of civil planes, notwithstanding their national origin, over South Russia have been limited since August 2 till the end of the month on the Russian defense ministry's request, as RIA Novosti earlier learned from Leonid Shcherbakov, acting head of the state air traffic regulation department at the transport ministry's state civil aviation service. The imposed limitations do not discriminate air companies of any country, he specifically stressed, refuting claims of Georgian authorities, saying that their air carriers were in worse conditions than other, as groundless.
The period allowed for planes' flights over Russia was determined by the schedule of military exercise carried out in South Russia and involving missile units, and is dictated by safety reasons, not by political ones, Shcherbakov explained.
Georgian airplanes used to fly at the time when missile launching is conducted, he said. So they have been assigned a period from 3 to 8 a.m., Moscow time. Other countries' planes continue to fly in their usual hours, as no launches are conducted at that time, he added.