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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

EU Urged to Act on Flights Spat

BERLIN -- Germany's Transport Ministry is considering asking the European Union to help resolve a dispute with Moscow over the use of Russian airspace, a spokesman said Thursday.

Russian authorities have stopped German air-freight carrier Lufthansa Cargo from flying through the country's airspace, according to the company, which has said it is seeking help from politicians.

"We are considering whether to engage the EU," said a spokesman for Germany's Transport Ministry.

The exact reason for the ban, which Lufthansa Cargo says affects all its flights to and from its hub in Astana, Kazakhstan, is unclear. Die Welt newspaper reported Wednesday that Lufthansa had not paid in full the fees charged for passing over Russia.

The Federal Air Transportation Agency played down talk of a conflict.

"There is no conflict as such. There is some kind of lack of confirmation by the German side of the Russian demands," agency head Yevgeny Bachurin said.

He said once the problems had been cleared up, Lufthansa Cargo would be able to resume its flights. "I hope this will happen very soon," he said.

Lufthansa Cargo uses Astana as a connection point for flights to South-East Asia.

Germany briefly introduced its own ban on Russian freight in its air space in response to the measures but quickly lifted it to ensure it did not damage the chances of talks.