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Russian plane carrying nuclear fuel allowed in Slovakia despite flight ban


Bratislava, Slovakia – Slovakia has allowed a Russian plane carrying nuclear fuel to land in the country despite an airspace ban introduced a few days ago, Euractiv reported.

On Tuesday, a Russian plane of Volga-Dnepr Airlines was allowed to enter the Slovak airspace and land in the country to deliver fuel for Slovakia’s nuclear power plants in Mochovce and Jaslovské Bohunice.

The aircraft travelled from Moscow to Bratislava via Belarus and Poland, which also introduced a ban on Russian planes in its airspace in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The information was confirmed by Slovakia’s Economy Ministry, which said exemptions were planned for “humanitarian aid and nuclear fuel” deliveries.

Authorities assured that the country “now has enough nuclear fuel”, but it’s unclear how long the reserves are supposed to last.

The flight was reportedly also sanctioned by the Polish government.

Slovakia is completely dependent on Russian fuel for the six reactors currently in operation at two distinct power plants.

Following the move of other countries across Europe, Slovakia closed its airspace to Russian planes on Monday.

“The landing in, taking off from, or overflying through Slovakia’s airspace are banned for all aircraft owned, leased, operated or otherwise controlled by Russian citizens, and all holders of the air operator’s certificate issued by the Russian Federation’s authorities,” Transport Minister Andrej Doležal declared.

On the same day, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced an EU-wide ban for “Russian-owned, Russian-registered or Russian-controlled aircraft”.

In response, Russia also banned aircraft from 36 countries, including Slovakia, from entering its airspace.