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MOSCOW, August 21 (Itar-Tass) - Russia's Association for Assistance to Travelers (TurPomoshch) is prepared if necessary to allocate 200 million rubles for the return of Russian tourists from Egypt, Rosturism authority chief Alexander Radjkov told a news conference on Wednesday.
Assistance would ensure immediate repatriation in the event of a travel operator's insolvency, Radkov said. Given instability in Egypt, Rosturism did not rule out the possibility of evacuation. According to authority estimates, around 40,000 Russian tourists are staying at Egyptian resorts.
Radkov noted three levels of danger to tourists on holiday abroad: the extent of restrictions on visits to certain areas, the level of potential threat to security, and the threat level when evacuation from a hazardous territory was proceeding.
"The problem was that we may not ban tourists from visiting a country of their choice because otherwise, the tourists' constitutional rights would have been violated," Radkov said.
Evacuation had not been announced yet, he added, amid hopes the environment would not worsen that far. Affairs were complicated, however, and future events could not be predicted. Civil war was not ruled out and in that event, the question of evacuation would arise, Radkov said. Planning for this was under way, developed by the foreign ministry and appropriate authorities, he added.
Meanwhile, Rosturism has recommended that travel agencies reduce the number of tours to Egypt and reschedule tourists to different destinations. Operators are being ordered to tell clients about developments at Egyptian resorts, using all information channels.
On August 15, Russia's foreign ministry recommended that Russian citizens do not go to Egypt.