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Russia not re-elected to UN aviation agency's 36-member council

Russia not re-elected to UN aviation agency's 36-member council

FILE PHOTO: A pedestrian walks past the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) headquarters building in Montreal, Quebec, Canada June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi/File Photo

MONTREAL: Russia on Saturday was not re-elected to the UN aviation agency's governing council, in a boost for Western powers that wanted to hold Moscow accountable for its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia did not receive enough votes to stay on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)'s 36-nation governing council, during the agency's assembly which runs through Oct 7 in Montreal.

The voting results set off a procedural review on Saturday (Oct 1), following a challenge by Russia. Poppy Khoza, the assembly's president and South Africa's director general of civil aviation, called the circumstance "unprecedented".

Russia closed its airspace to airlines from 36 countries, including all 27 members of the European Union, in response to Ukraine-related sanctions targeting its aviation sector following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

The West says Russia has illegally confiscated hundreds of foreign jets, a charge Moscow denies.

Canada and Europe said before the vote they would oppose Russia's re-election to the council.

Omar Alghabra, Canada's transport minister, told Reuters earlier this week "it's important that Russia is held accountable."

The 193-nation ICAO assembly, held every three years, is the first since the COVID-19 pandemic and Ukraine war.

Earlier this week, a representative of the Russian Federation asked the assembly to condemn public statements and actions by a group of countries, "including the introduction of bans on the use of sovereign airspace."

Source: Reuters/fh
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