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MOSCOW, April 14. /TASS/. The solution to the problem of ensuring security of Russian tourists in Egypt has not been found yet but such an effort is continuing, the Russian president said on Thursday during his annual televised question and answer session officially known as "The Direct Line with Vladimir Putin."
For resuming flights to Egypt, there is a need to find the way of checking passengers, luggage and food onboard jointly with the country’s authorities to ensure security of Russians, he said.
"No such scheme in the work with Egyptian colleagues has been found so far but our special services and law enforcement bodies are working with Egyptian friends on this issue," Putin stressed.
The Turkish authorities will seek to ensure tourists’ safety but will hardly be able to do so, the Russian president went on to say.
"I am more than confident that the Turkish leadership will seek to ensure the safety of tourists, including ours, since this is a significant source of the Turkish budget revenue," he said, adding that last year about 5 million Russian tourists visited this country.
"However, whether they will be able to do that [ensure safety] is a big question," the Russian president said. He noted that the Russian authorities deem it necessary to warn citizens that currently vacationing in Turkey, just like in Egypt, is dangerous.
In Putin's words, there is a de facto civil war in Turkey, and the country’s leaders are cooperating with radicals rather than fighting against them.
"In our opinion, Turkey’s current leadership does not fight against radicals but instead cooperates with them," Putin said answering a question on when Russian tourists will be able to return to Turkey. He also noted other internal problems in this country that make one think about security of tourists. "There is a de facto civil war in the south. We are trying not to notice it, the international community acts like it does not notice it, but this is a fact - with use of heavy equipment, heavy weaponry, artillery and so on," the Russian president noted adding that terrorist attacks in Turkey "occur almost every week."
Russian President Vladimir Putin considers Turkey to be a friendly country and regards the Turks as a friendly people, but there are problems with individual Turkish politicians whose behavior has been inadequate.
"We consider Turkey to be our friend, and the Turkish people is a friendly people with whom we will certainly build the most friendly and good-neighborly relations," the Russian president said at his annual televised Q&A session officially known as "The Direct Line with Vladimir Putin".
"We have problems with some politicians whose behavior has been inadequate, in our view, and we are reacting to it accordingly," Putin said.
"As you may see, we have been working calmly and smoothly without any jerks," Putin went on to say. He added that the country could not leave the unfriendly actions against it unanswered. "It is necessary to react to such things without fail. Otherwise, they will saddle us and will start riding herd on us. Such things have happened in our most recent history but returning to those times is impossible and we are not going to do that," Putin said adding that it was in Russia’s interests to develop relations with partners. "We will take account of our interests and will develop relations with all our partners, including our neighbors," Putin said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised to visit Crimea for a few days in response to an invitation from representatives of Crimea’s tourism sector inviting him to spend a holiday on the peninsula.
"I haven’t thought about it so far, but I will certainly visit Crimea at least for a few days, including for a holiday," Putin said in his question-and-answer marathon on Thursday. "Thank you for the invitation," he said.
Crimea, where most residents are ethnic Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014. In mid-March 2014, Crimea re-joined Russia following a referendum. More than 82% of the electorate took part in the vote. Over 96% backed splitting from Ukraine and spoke in favor of reuniting with Russia.