Russia has begun steps to prohibit its airlines from complying with the European Union's Emissions Trading System (ETS) and has threatened to deny Siberian overflight rights to European carriers in retaliation against the scheme.
Speaking on the sidelines of an international conference in Moscow, deputy transport minister Valery Okulov said the ministry is drafting a bill jointly with the parliament's transport committee.
"It would prohibit Russian airlines [carrying out services to EU countries] from opening the emissions trading accounts and making any payments into them. The draft legislation is to be introduced in the first half of this year," said Okulov.
He added: "In another retaliatory move, we could refuse to provide more slots for European carriers to overfly Siberia on routes to Asia. In that case, Asian airlines would gain a substantial competitive advantage over them."
Yesterday a group of nations opposed to ETS - including Russia and the USA - met in Moscow to put together a list of retaliatory actions that individual countries could take against the EU.