Putin Suspends Russian Flights to Egypt on FSB Advice
Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to suspend all commercial flights to Egypt until an investigation determines the causes of the deadly Russian A321 plane crash, TASS reported on Friday.
The decision came after the director of Russia’s federal security service FSB Aleksandr Bortnikov briefed Putin on a recommendation to suspend flights made by the Interstate Aviation Committee, TASS quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.
Putin has also instructed the government “to ensure Russian citizens return home” from Egypt, Peskov said.
Currently there are about 45,000 Russian tourists holidaying in Egypt, the head of Russian federal tourism agency Rostourism Oleg Safonov said.
The Airbus A321 operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia was conducting flight 9268 between Sharm el-Sheikh and Saint Petersburg when it crashed in in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula shortly after take-off on October 31, killing all 224 people on board.
Uncertainty over the possible causes of the crash has increased after U.S. and British intelligence sources suggested that the aircraft might have been brought down by a bomb placed onboard. Egypt-based militants linked to the Islamic State group have claimed that they downed the plane.
Britain, Ireland and the Netherlands have already suspended flights to Sharm el-Sheikh on the suspicion the plane fell from the sky after a bomb explosion on board.
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