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MOSCOW, November 3. /TASS/. Moscow calls to establish all the circumstances of Russian A321 passenger jet’s crash in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and punish those guilty of the tragedy, Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.
"The Russian side has launched a systematic and intense work with the Egyptian side on increasing the level of aviation security," Zakharova said. A joint plan was introduced in order to improve security at the airports of Hurghada, Cairo and Sharm el-Sheikh and also to create conditions for preventing similar accidents, she added.
A significant part of this plan has been already implemented, the diplomat said. The sides are also working on an intergovernmental protocol to allow Russian experts to be more actively involved in ensuring security of Russian nationals at Egypt’ airports, Zakharova said.
"It is important to establish all the circumstances of this tragedy and find those guilty who must carry punishment," the diplomat said. "The successful completion of the effort on investigating the causes of this tragedy will allow creating the necessary conditions for resuming regular flights between Russia and Egypt and safe stay of Russians in Egyptian resort cities."
A flight by the Russian airline, Kogalymavia, travelling from Sharm el-Sheikh to the Russian city of St. Petersburg crashed on October 31, 2015, about a half an hour after take-off. The plane’s wreckage was found some 100 kilometers south from the town of El Arish, the capital of the Egyptian governorate of North Sinai, near the El Hasna settlement. All of the 217 passengers and seven crew members on board died in the crash. There were residents of 13 Russian regions among the victims, including 147 residents of St. Petersburg.
Shortly after, Russia suspended all flights with Egypt. Investigation revealed the crash had been a terrorist attack carried out by using a homemade explosive device containing one kilogram of TNT. Negotiations on resuming flights between Russia and Egypt have been underway since late 2015.