RUSSIA is pressing for a last-minute delay in implementing new European Union security rule governing air cargo shipments due to come into effect on July 1, Reuters reports.
The EU has granted exemptions to 10 countries including the US and Japan, but has stalled on Russia's application, leading veteran observers to suggest that the EU cold shoulder has something to do with the crisis in the Ukraine.
Russia has asked that the European Union removes the checks, emphasising that its airlines and airports already meet global air safety standards set by the UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
But if Russia and the EU fail to reach agreement on delaying implementation, the EU could grant Russian airlines a grace period of up to six months on an individual basis, meaning freight traffic between the two markets is unlikely to stop completely.
The EU has granted exemptions so far to 10 countries including the United States and Japan, but talks with Russia have broken down.
Russia's Transport Ministry said its officials had sent a letter to the European Commission's director for air transport suggesting a round of last-ditch talks but were yet to receive a reply.
The new rules state that airlines carrying cargo into the EU will have to demonstrate that their security procedures have been approved by EU authorities.
Source : HKSG.