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Russia to draft before year-end order to resume air service with Egypt - Minister Sokolov

Russia’s experts will make additional security inspections at airports in Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, December 16. /TASS/. Russia’s Ministry of Transport will present to the government before the year-end a draft presidential order on resuming the air service with Egypt, Minister Maxim Sokolov told reporters on Saturday.

"We are to present [to the government] [the president’s] draft order (on resuming the air service with Egypt - TASS)," he said. "We plan doing it before the New Year".

Russia’s experts also will make additional security inspections at airports in Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh.

Reporters asked him, whether at least another additional inspection was required at airports of Egypt’s resorts.

"I believe, yes," the minister answered.

On December 15, Russia and Egypt signed a protocol on cooperation in the civil aviation security. The protocol’s term will begin in 30 days and the document will be used as a base to resume regular air traffic with Egypt (only flights to Cairo).

According to the minister, that would be possible only after President Putin signs a respective order. The minister added, regular flights to Cairo could resume in February 2018 already. This decision is not applicable to chartered flights to Egypt’s resorts Sharm El Sheikh or Hurghada though, he added.

The move will put an end to the long-lasting negotiations between Russia and Egypt, which have been underway since late 2015. Moscow suspended air service with Cairo in November 2015, following a terrorist attack on a Russian A321 passenger jet en route from Egypt’s Sharm El Sheikh to Russia’s St. Petersburg. The airliner crashed over the Sinai Peninsula early on October 31, 2015 killing all 224 people onboard.