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Turkey and Russia to hold talks in Antalya on tourism and flight restrictions

Turkey and Russia to hold talks on tourism and flight restrictions
Turkey and Russia to hold talks on tourism and flight restrictions
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Written by Harry Johnson

Russia restricts regular air service with Turkey, claiming it’s due solely to new COVID-19 outbreak there

  • From April 15 through June 1, Russia is limiting regular air service with Turkey
  • Flight restrictions don’t not have any political implication, Kremlin claims
  • Russian-Turkish expert group on tourism safety to meet in Antalya

According to Turkish Ambassador to Russia Mehmet Samsar, Ankara has proposed to Kremlin to hold a meeting of Russian-Turkish expert group on tourism safety in Antalya in the second half of May in order to demonstrate safety measures and enhancements undertaken by Turkish authorities.

“Last week, we sent our official invitation to the meeting of the Turkish-Russian working subgroup on tourism safety which was planned for April but had been postponed, with a proposal to hold it in the second half of May in Antalya so that Russian authorities can see the undertaken measures and don’t have any remaining issues,” the ambassador said.

From April 15 through June 1, Russia is limiting regular air service with Turkey ‘due to a new coronavirus outbreak there.’ The number of flights was reduced to two per week on a mutual basis.

Kremlin is denying political context behind Russia’s decision to restrict flights to Turkey. Russia’s decision to restrict passenger flights to Turkey has no political implication and is prompted solely by a ‘spike in the COVID-19 cases’ in that country, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

“No, it does not [have a political implication],” the Kremlin official said when asked if the restrictions have a political implication, in particular that related to the recent statements of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Ukrainian issue.

“The situation is solely epidemiological in nature,” Peskov declared.