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NATO member N Macedonia to briefly raise flight ban in case Russia’s Lavrov needs to attend assembly

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SKOPJE, North Macedonia — NATO member North Macedonia stated Friday it could briefly raise a ban on flights from Russia subsequent week, which might allow Russian Overseas Minister Sergey Lavrov to attend a world convention within the nation ought to he settle for the invitation.

A authorities assertion stated the window would apply from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, when North Macedonia hosts a gathering of international ministers from the Group for Safety and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) within the capital, Skopje.

Russia is among the 57 members of the OSCE, arrange through the Chilly Struggle to ease East-West tensions, whose rotating chairmanship North Macedonia at present holds. Most European international locations banned flights from Russia after its invasion of Ukraine in Feb. 2022.

It was not clear whether or not Lavrov would even settle for the invitation which North Macedonia’s Overseas Minister Bujar Osmani stated final week had been despatched to him.

If that’s the case, Friday’s authorities assertion stated North Macedonia’s international and protection ministries would want to challenge extra permits for the go to.

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The assertion stated the temporary flight ban suspension isn’t unprecedented, “particularly with regards to worldwide conferences.”

To be able to attain the small, landlocked Balkan nation, the Russian delegation must fly by the airspace of different NATO or European Union members, which in flip would want to grant particular permission.

Except shut Moscow ally Belarus, Lavrov has not visited any European international locations because the warfare in Ukraine began. He has traveled to NATO member Turkey which has no ban on Russian flights, and the U.S. the place he attended conferences on the U.N. headquarters.

In March final yr, Lavrov was barred from flying to Geneva for a United Nations convention after European Union members banned Russian planes from their skies as a part of bruising sanctions towards Moscow.

He denounced the transfer as “outrageous” in a video tackle to the U.N. session, charging that “the EU international locations try to keep away from a candid face-to-face dialogue or direct contacts designed to assist determine political options to urgent worldwide points.”

In October, Osmani stated that Moscow can count on extra diplomatic stress from the OSCE in coming months throughout his nation’s presidency of the group, which ends Dec. 31.

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