News breaking: 2007-04-19
( BW)(EURPN-ASSCN-UKRAINIANS) European Association of Ukrainians
Pickets German Transportation Ministry, Demands Fair Access to
Ukrainian-German Routes for Ukrainian Air Carriers
Business Editors/Transportation Writers
KYIV, Ukraine & BERLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 19, 2007--The
European Association of Ukrainians picketed the premises of the German
Federal Ministry of Transportation, Construction and City Development
in Berlin on April 12, 2007. The protesters demanded that the Ministry
cease discriminatory actions against Ukrainian airlines.
The leaders of the Brussels-based NGO organized the event to draw
the attention of the German transportation authorities to the ongoing
Ukrainian-German airline clash, which has resulted in the cutting of
direct air connections between German cities and Ukraine's major
industrial area - the Dnipropetrovsk region.
On March 9, 2006, the German Federal Department of Civil Aviation
(LBA) banned all flights to Germany by regional air carrier
Dniproavia. Though the LBA claimed to be acting on the basis of the
non-receipt of documents from the Ukrainian government, the protesters
maintain that it stems from Lufthansa's allegations against
Dniproavia. Previously, similar measures had been taken against a
number of other Ukrainian air companies.
The European Association of Ukrainians considers the LBA's actions
against Ukrainian air companies to be an attempt to protect the
interests of German air carrier Lufthansa. This discriminatory policy
against Ukrainian airlines led to wide-spread publicity and civil
protests, which has damaged not only image of Lufthansa and Germany's
foreign policy in Eastern Europe. Alexey Tolkachev, Chairman of the
Civic Committee for National Security Protection noted that, "The
decisions against the Ukrainian carriers were issued by the LBA, which
is a subdivision of the Ministry. That is why we have taken our appeal
directly to the Ministry now."
The Ukrainian side has made a series of efforts to settle the air
conflict at the negotiation table, but Germany's tough position
excluded the possibility of reconciliation. Another series of
international negotiations at a high level, conducted on February 8,
2007, were without effect. The German negotiators maintained their
Representatives of the European Association of Ukrainians
picketing in Berlin on April 12, 2007 declared that the policies used
by LBA and Lufthansa are breaking the parity principles of air
transportation and damage the environment of neighborly relations
between the EU and Ukraine. Mr. Tolkachev commented that, "It was
hoped that German authorities would manage the discussion, but
Lufthansa's managers played a leading part instead. At this point, no
further negotiations have been scheduled."
The picket participants vowed that if the discriminatory actions
against Ukraine are going to be preserved, the international air
conflict between Germany and Ukraine can worsen.
During the picket, leaders of the European Association of
Ukrainians presented an Appeal to the German Federal Ministry of
Transportation, Construction and City development requesting
assistance in settling the German-Ukrainian air transportation
conflict between and renewal of the Ukraine's air carriers permissions
to service flights to Germany.
+380 50 595 23 97
SOURCE: European Association of Ukrainians