Russia: Ukraine bars pilots from leaving aircraft

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Emergency workers attend a meeting with Russian Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov in Simferopol, Crimea, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Puchkov met with local emergency officials in Simferopol and said that Russia sent diesel generators to Crimea to serve as a back-up in case of power outages. Crimea faced power cutoffs after Ukraine briefly cut energy supplies to the region. (AP Photo/Maxim Vetrov)

Emergency workers attend a meeting with Russian Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov in Simferopol, Crimea, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Puchkov met with local emergency officials in Simferopol and said that Russia sent diesel generators to Crimea to serve as a back-up in case of power outages. Crimea faced power cutoffs after Ukraine briefly cut energy supplies to the region. (AP Photo/Maxim Vetrov)

A Ukrainian woman passes by a wall covered with graffiti showing the flags of Ukraine and Russia united in Simferopol, Crimea, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

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MOSCOW (AP) — Russia is accusing Ukrainian officials of barring crews of Russian commercial airlines from going outside of their aircraft in Ukrainian airports.

Tensions between Moscow and Kiev have been rising ever since Russian forces occupied the Crimean peninsula and stayed there throughout the referendum last week where votes overwhelmingly supported Russia’s annexation.

Russia’s foreign ministry said Wednesday that Ukrainian border guards have been barring cabin crews of Aeroflot, the state-controlled Russian airline, from leaving the aircraft. The ministry said the decision violates international laws and ultimately “poses a threat to the safety of civil aviation” because the crews cannot rest properly.

The ministry said that it had sent protest notes twice to the Ukrainian embassy in Moscow.

Associated Press

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