The State Civil Aviation Service of the Russian Ministry of Transport was surprised at the Georgian decision to limit the flight of Russian civilian planes over Georgia.
On August 8th, Merab Adeishvili, Minister of Transport and Communications of Georgia, stated that Georgia did this in reply to Russia's decision to limit the flight of Georgian planes over southern Russia.
Yuri Demidov, deputy PR spokesman of the State Civil Aviation Service, said that "in accordance with international rules, the Georgian authorities should have notified our service before making this statement but we have not received any notification." Demidov also pointed out that the temporary limit on the flight of planes over South Russia from August 2nd to September 1st was imposed in view of military exercises underway in the area. "The Defence Ministry has notified us of these exercises, the area and the time of missile launches," he said. "The area was closed to civilian flights for this period in a bid to ensure safety." According to the deputy spokesman, "in accordance with the notification of the Defence Ministry, the State Civil Aviation Service has warned the airlines of all countries, including Georgia, about the limit on the time of flights over the said area in South Russia. (...) It was a logical step and nobody complained," said Demidov. He believes that Georgia is trying to turn the situation political.