Ukrainian NGOs call for EC review of German aviation policy
The international aviation conflict escalates
Today eight Ukrainian NGOs appealed to the European Council to look into a conflict in passenger air transportation between Ukraine and Germany, according to a press-release, posted at the Business Wire. Led by representatives of the Civic Committee for National Security Protection, the Centre for Corporate relations research, and the European Association of Ukrainians, the Ukrainian NGOs are disturbed by of the actions of the German aviation authorities and appeal to European bodies to contribute to restoring international aviation ties between the two countries.
The international aviation conflict escalated early in 2006, after the German government forbade Ukrainian state-owned company "Dniproavia" from operating flights to German cities. Similar decisions had previously been taken toward some other Ukrainian air carriers.
"These decisions by the German authorities break the principles regarding the parity of flights, create discriminatory conditions against Ukraine and breach the provisions of the Open Air agreement," the head of the Civic Committee for National Security Protection Oleksii Tolkachev stated during a press-conference in Kyiv, - "finally, German rulings harm our policy of friendly relations between the two countries".
Ukraine`s attempts to handle the problem at the negotiating table have not resulted in moving the problem forward - German representatives have refused to reach a compromise.
The sharpening aviation conflict has caused a wave of protests in Ukraine against the unfriendly policy led by Germany. Forced by civic pressure, state authorities in Ukraine appealed to Germany with new initiatives on overcoming the problem. However, Germany did not respond to proposals forwarded by the State Aviation Service of Ukraine on December 20-22, 2006 to conduct negotiations.
According to Rostyslav Ischenko, the Vice-president of the Centre for Corporate Relations Research, "we see a significant threat to equal access to market principles envisaged by German-Ukrainian treaties in the transportation field".
On November 22, 2006 Ukrainian MPs appealed to the European Parliament with a request to carry out a rigorous investigation of German aviation policy regarding Ukraine and call the Germans to cease discriminating against Ukrainian air carriers.
The appeal, which is now being considered in the European Parliament, includes violations on the German part, including Lufthansa`s breach of provisions stipulated in the Agreement on international air connections and the rules established by ICAO and IATA. At the same time, Ukrainian MPs have stated that they are now taking an active role in the situation and have called for the establishment of a Supreme Council of Ukraine - European Parliament joint commission to ensure the comprehensive and unbiased examination of the situation.
"The general public in Ukraine expresses hope that the situation, which has affected aviation transportation between Ukraine and Germany, will become the subject of further examination not only in the European Parliament and European Commission, but in the Council of Europe as well" - notes Myhailo Kuzmin, President of the European
Association of Ukrainians
In an appeal dated January 30, 2007, the Ukrainian NGOs call on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council to give the situation appropriate consideration and appeal to German officials to reconsider their rulings regarding Ukrainian airlines,"