Duma speaker: Russia, Egypt interested in restoring tourism relations and resuming flights
Russia and Egypt are interested in restoring tourism relations and resuming flights, Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin told reporters on Monday. "We are, of course, interested in fully restoring economic relations, including tourism and flights between our countries," Naryshkin, who will lead the parliamentary delegation during the visit to Cairo on January 26-27, said. "However, this [resuming flights] will only be possible if full security of our citizens is guaranteed," the speaker noted. Russia suspended the flights of Russian airlines to Egypt after the Russian A321 passenger aircraft had crashed over the Sinai Peninsula on October 31, 2015. On November 6 last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed with the recommendations of the National Anti-Terrorism Committee to suspend all flights to Egypt. All Russian air companies halted flights to Egypt at 8pm on November 6. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained the measure would be in force not just until the end of investigation into the A321 plane crash over the Sinai Peninsula but also until proper security standards were guaranteed on trips to Egypt. The A321 plane belonging to Russia’s air company Kogalymavia was en route from Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt to St. Petersburg in Russia (flight KGL 9268) when it crashed over the Sinai Peninsula early on October 31. The plane fell near El Hasna populated locality 100km to the south of Al-Arish, the administrative center of the North Sinai Governorate (province). All the 224 people onboard, including 217 passengers and the 7-member crew, died. The passengers, most of whom were Russians, also included four Ukrainians and one citizen of Belarus.