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Russian Foreign Ministry: Too early to speak of termination of air travel with France

May 19, 19:55 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi said at a news conference that a terrorist act most likely occurred on board the EgyptAir A320 aircraft
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© EPA/ETIENNE LAURENT

MOSCOW, May 19. /TASS/. Speaking of possible termination of air travel between France and the Russian Federation in case the version of a terrorist attack on board an EgyptAir A320 is confirmed is too early, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday in an interview with the Govorit Moskva radio.

"At first, credible information should be obtained on what happened there. Then conclusions will follow," Zakharova said answering the question on the possibility of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s recommendations on the ban on flights.

"Any preliminary assessments are dangerous as they are based on assumptions, not facts," she said. "It’s necessary to establish now what happened, after which relevant conclusions will be made. Then it will be possible to speak of further steps and statements."

"We will give our assessment when it is established what happened in reality," the diplomat said.

The EgyptAir A320 aircraft en route from Paris to Cairo vanished 10 miles into Egyptian airspace while flying at around 11,000 meters. The aircraft disappeared from radars at 2:45am local time Thursday (3:45am Moscow time), 20 minutes before it was due to land. French President Francois Holland confirmed earlier that the plane had crashed.

There were 56 passengers and 10 crew onboard. According to the passenger list provided by EgyptAir, 15 French citizens and 30 Egyptians were onboard, along with citizens of the United Kingdom, Belgium, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria, Canada.

The wreckage of the plane was discovered in the sea to the south of the Greek island of Karpathos. Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi said at a news conference that a terrorist act most likely occurred on board the aircraft rather than a technical malfunction.

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