Some aspects of Egypt flight security remain problematic: Russia's Upper House Speaker

Sputnik, Thursday 16 Feb 2017

Russian tourism
Russian passengers prepare to depart from Sharm el-Sheikh Airport in south Sinai, Egypt, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 (AP)

Russia's upper house of parliament speaker said Cairo has improved most security issues to allow for safe Egypt-Russia flights, but Moscow believes that a few details remain problematic.

"Cairo has improved most security aspects providing for safe Egypt-Russia flights, but Moscow believes that a few details remain problematic," Speaker Valentina Matvienko said Wednesday evening.

"The work on this project is almost finished; most items on the agenda for the improvement of security on flights from Egypt have been carried out. However, there are a number of details that we are not satisfied with," Matvienko said.

Matvienko stressed that Russia's stance on the matter had not changed and that the security of its citizens remains a priority.

The upper house speaker confirmed that she would go to Egypt in the beginning of March on a planned official visit, unrelated to the flight security issues.

Russia has carried out a series of security checks at Egyptian airports after a Russian passenger plane crashed soon after it took off from Sinai's Sharm El-Sheikh airport in October 2015.

The Airbus A321 crash over the Sinai desert killed 224 people aboard. The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) classified the air disaster, the deadliest in Russian and Soviet history, as a terrorist attack.

Egyptian investigations have not yet determined the cause of the crash.

Russia grounded flights to and from Egypt in November 2015. Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said in January that the February inspection would likely be the last and suggested that restrictions could be lifted in the near future. However, the latest inspection showed that some details still had to be improved.

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