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Russia Extends Ban on Turkey, Egypt Travel

Russia Extends Ban on Turkey, Egypt TravelRussia Extends Ban on Turkey, Egypt Travel

Russian tourists will not be lying on sunny beaches in Turkey or Egypt any time soon. Russia’s tourism officials said Thursday the two countries would not be destinations for its citizens for the rest of 2016 following the downing of aircraft last year and concerns over safety.

“Turkey will not be reopened this year for sure, and the latest events in Egypt showed that Egypt will most likely not be reopened either,” said Roman Skory, deputy head of Russia’s Federal Agency for Tourism, Russian news agency Tass reported Thursday. “By way of example, Britain and a number of European countries do not rush to resume flights to Egypt either. Safety is the key issue, the No. 1 problem.”

Russia suspended flights to Egypt after the October 31 crash of Russian passenger jet over the Sinai Peninsula that killed 224 people, which was the biggest air crash in the history of Russia’s aviation. Media reports had suggested earlier that the flights to Egypt could be resumed in the near future.

Flights to Turkey were suspended on November 28 by a presidential decree on measures to assure national security, protection of Russian citizens against unlawful and criminal actions and on applying special economic measures on the Turkish Republic. The document says, in part, that it suspends the legal effects of the May 12, 2010 Russian-Turkish agreement on conditions for reciprocal trips by Russian citizens to Turkey and Turkish citizens to Russia concerning the trips by holders of regular passports.

Both the Turkish and Egyptian economies have been hit by the suspension of flights and lack of tourists from Russia. With its sandy beaches and short flight times, Egypt drew 3 million Russian tourists in 2014. Turkey was the most popular destination for Russian tourists with more than 3.3 million people visiting from January through September last year.