Aviation: Russia excludes European nations as it resumes flights with Israel, South Africa and 50 other ‘friendly’ countries

Russia

Russia Government plans to end restrictions on flights to Israel, South Africa and from 50 countries after April 9, part of its plans to reduce measures taken to slow the spread of COVID-19, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on Monday.

This is just as its airspace remained closed to European countries that have imposed sanctions on the superpower over the Ukrainian war.

According to jpost.com, Russia plans to resume flights to and from Argentina, other “friendly countries,” Mishustin said, meaning those that have not joined the latest wave of Western sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special operation” to demilitarize its neighbour.

READ: News: Amidst Western Sanctions, Russia plans to increase number of trade missions in Africa

Other countries with which Russia will resume flights after April 9 include Israel, Algeria, China, Lebanon, Peru and Pakistan, Russian state media reported.

Russia imposed broad travel restrictions at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, many of which remain in force, but has gradually expanded the list of countries deemed safe for air travel.

Mishustin also said Russia would be lifting restrictions on travel across the land border between Russia and China.

Russia has 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.
Punitive measures imposed by Western powers have also forced Western firms to terminate leasing contracts with Russian airlines for over 500 aircraft.

The sanctions also prevent Russian airlines from buying aircraft parts or maintenance services from Europe or the United States, adding to the pressure on the world’s 11th largest aviation market from a ban on using North American and European airspace.

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