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8 Jun, 2023 07:42

Ukraine may partially reopen airspace – governor

An air bridge to Lviv may operate similarly to the grain corridor in the Black Sea, the regional head has said
Ukraine may partially reopen airspace – governor

The EU may launch flights to Ukraine’s western city of Lviv, Maksim Kozitsky, the head of the Lviv Region administration, has said. The air link could operate in a manner similar to the Black Sea grain export route, which was mediated by Türkiye and the UN last year, according to the official.

Kozitsky said that reopening Lviv International Airport was something that Ukrainian officials discussed with visiting EU Transport Commissioner Adina-Ioana Valean on Wednesday. He described the idea as “one of the important things that we anticipate a lot.”

Kiev shut down all civilian air traffic in February 2022 after the conflict with Russia began. It was not immediately clear how flights to Lviv could be organized safely by the EU and Ukraine alone, without Russian cooperation.

The Black Sea Initiative, which Kozitsky alluded to, has Russia among its participants, but it is unclear if Moscow would be approached in some sort of potential deal to begin flights in and out of Lviv. Russia has repeatedly complained that in the grain deal the UN has failed to deliver on its end of the bargain and facilitate Russian exports of foodstuffs and fertilizers, which were hampered by Western sanctions.

Valean visited Lviv to sign an association agreement with the Ukrainian government on the country’s participation in the Connecting Europe Facility, a mechanism created in 2014 to fund transport, energy and digital projects that boost EU integration in member states.

Ukraine will now be able to tap into EU money to become more connected to the bloc’s common market, the European Commission said. Valean signed a similar agreement with Moldova last month.