Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, deliver statements after their talks in the Kremlin, Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015 (File Photo: AP)
Russia’s Kremlin declined to comment on media reports on the identification of terrorists allegedly responsible for the crash of the Russian A321 over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula by Russian and Egyptian intelligence services, Russian News Agency TASS reported on Friday.
"There is nothing I can tell you now. You should probably ask the intelligence services about that," Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Commenting on the possibility of resuming flights, which were suspended between Russia and Egypt a week after the airliner crashed on 31 October, the Kremlin spokesman said that "work is underway by our respective representatives and their Egyptian counterparts."
"Since the very beginning, when flights were originally suspended, it was said that they would remain so until the necessary security conditions could be created for our citizens. The work to achieve this is still in progress," Peskov said.
Last Tuesday, Egypt parliament’s speaker Ali Abdel-Al met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Naryshkin, where they discussed the necessity of restoring the influx of Russian tourists into Egypt and the resumption of Russian flights to Sharm El-Sheikh and other tourist destinations soon.
The Kremlin statements came after media reports on Friday claiming that intelligence service officers had established the identities of several persons involved in preparing the attack aboard the plane, including the perpetrator of the crime who smuggled explosives aboard the aircraft.
Reuters reported statements from sources saying that an EgyptAir mechanic, whose cousin joined the ISIS militant group in Syria, was suspected of planting the bomb on the Russian airliner.
The mechanic was detained, along with two airport policemen and a baggage handler, who were suspected of helping him put the bomb on board.
To date, Egypt has publicly said it has found no evidence that the MetroJet flight, which crashed in the Sinai Peninsula after takeoff from Sharm el-Sheikh airport, killing all 224 people on board, was brought down by terrorism.