European aviation watchdog urges airlines to avoid Crimea airspace

European aviation watchdog urges airlines to avoid Crimea airspace
A man holding a Russian flag on the roof of the naval headquarters in Sevastopol yesterday. Three Russian flags were flying at one of the entrances to Ukraine's naval headquarters in the Crimean port of Sevastopol yesterday, suggesting that at least part of the base was under the control of pro-Russian forces.

PARIS - The European aviation safety watchdog on Thursday urged airlines to avoid the airspace above Crimea, warning of "serious risks" after the peninsula was annexed by Russia.

In a statement, the European Aviation Safety Agency said Russia's stated intention of taking over air traffic above Crimea, which is currently under Ukraine's responsibility, posed "serious risks to the safety of international civil flights".

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