UST-KAMENOGORSK (Kazakhstan), August 6 (RIA Novosti) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday called rumors media reports indicating that Russia is planning to impose restrictions on flights of foreign commercial aircraft over Siberia.
"I am against using restrictive measures which could cause problems for passengers, for common citizens who don’t have anything to do with atrocities committed in Ukraine by those who waged this war," Lavrov said during his visit to Kazakhstan.
"I don’t want to comment on rumors, but everybody knows how actively the Russian airspace is used by foreign air carriers, including those from Europe, the United States and Asia," the minister stressed.
At the same time, Lavrov said that Moscow is trying to take into consideration how these measures would affect Russian citizens. "Therefore, we believe that our Western partners should think both about their companies and their citizens," he added.
Russia’s Vedomosti newspaper reported on Tuesday that Russian officials were considering a possibility to restrict or ban transit flights of European airlines from Europe to Asia via Russia’s airspace.
According to the report, the Ministry of Transport and the Foreign Ministry are currently discussing the possible measure which could come in response to the Western sanctions.
The European Union, the United States, Canada and Japan have compiled sanctions lists against Russian companies, banks, politicians, freezing their bank accounts, banning them entry and refusing to buy Russian goods. The move has been linked to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Since March, the European Union has imposed a total of nine rounds of sanctions, with two of them against the former Ukrainian leadership and seven against Russia. Washington has adopted a total of six rounds of anti-Russian sanctions.
Moscow has repeatedly called the measures counterproductive and stressed that Russia is not involved in the Ukrainian conflict.