Germany Blocks Incoming Russian Flights After Having Its Flights Rejected by Moscow Amid Belarus Tension

Germany and Russia are in conflict over who gets to fly into one another's airports amid Belarus tension, The Moscow Times reported. The transport ministry announced Wednesday that Germany has blocked flights with Russian airlines from landing in its airports after Moscow had done the same to two German flights.

Lufthansa had two planes flying into Moscow due to depart early Wednesday, but both flights were canceled after Russia refused to provide necessary permits in time, according to The Moscow Times.

The transport ministry said, "Due to the reciprocal practice, the Federal Aviation authority also did not issue any further permits for flights operated by Russian airlines as long as authorizations are pending on the Russian side."

The German ministry clarified that once the permits for Lufthansa flights are granted, Russian airlines will also be permitted to land in Germany as well.

While it is not explicitly stated that the Belarus tension is to blame for Russia's obstruction, other European airlines, such as Air France, had to cancel flights into Russia last week for similar reasons, and could be because each of the airlines had agreed to avoid flying near Belarus.

The European Union began sanctioning European-based airlines to avoid flying over Belarus airspace after a flight was diverted under the ruse of a bomb threat in order to detain a 26-year-old journalist and activist by the name of Raman Pratasevich.

Since then, Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Finnair, Lufthansa, and Austrian Airlines are among many that have begun avoiding Belarus.

Belarus has stood firm in defending its actions, and Russia has also publicly defended the neighboring country. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a press conference early last week that Belarus' approach to arresting Pratasevich was "absolutely reasonable."

He said, "A representative of the Belarusian foreign ministry…stressed the readiness of the Belarusian authorities to act on the issue in a transparent manner and to follow all international rules."

Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said during a meeting, "The EU has made a political decision to introduce sectoral sanctions in an apparent attempt to ruin our economy and create conditions for the repeat of coup attempts. In this situation, we count on the support of our closest ally, the Russian Federation."

The United States, Britain, the European Union, NATO, and the United Nations have all condemned the actions of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and demanded an international investigation, as well as the immediate release of Prataseveich.

Newsweek reached out to Lufthansa airlines for comment.

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Parked aircraft operated by German airline Lufthansa are pictured at Berlin Brandenburg BER airport Willy-Brandt in Schoenefeld near Berlin on May 31. Germany has temporarily halted flights into Russia amid ongoing Belarus tension. TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images