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Russian minister: Egyptian security services buying additional airport security equipment

According to Russian Industry and Trade Minister, the issue of restoring the air service with Egypt is one of the most important for the Egyptian side

CAIRO, February 3. /TASS/. Egyptian security services are purchasing additional equipment for airport security, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said on the Rossiya 24 TV channel on Wednesday.

"We have received the corresponding confirmation — additional equipment is being purchased, contracts with the special security services are concluded. I cannot tell all the details because it is still a very sensitive issue, on which people’s lives depend. I can say only one thing — the process is going in the right direction, the colleagues demonstrate their absolute interest in securing a positive result in this sphere," he said.

According to Manturov, the issue of restoring the air service with Egypt, taking into account the market’s loss of at least 2.5 million Russian tourists per year, is one of the most important for the Egyptian side. "We are also interested in resuming the tourist flow to this destination. However, everything here depends on the security measures the Egyptian side is currently working out," the minister said.

In mid-January 2015, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said that that "Egypt has its financial motivations to get Russian tourists numbering about 3 million people as soon as possible. Speaking about our approaches, we want to see how aviation security is provided in all areas of airports’ work."

On November 26, 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended the air service with Egypt agreeing with the recommendations of the National Antiterrorist Committee (NAC). Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said then that this measure was introduced not until the investigation of the crash of Russia’s A321 airliner of the Kogalymavia air carrier over Sinai as a result of an act of terror on October 31 last year is completed, but until the proper security level is ensured.

An A321 passenger jet of Russia’s Kogalymavia air carrier (flight 9268) bound for St. Petersburg crashed on October 31 some 30 minutes after the take-off from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh. It fell down 100 kilometers south of the administrative center of North Sinai Governorate, the city of Al-Arish. The plane was carrying 217 passengers and seven crew members. There were four Ukrainian nationals and one Belarusian among the passengers. None survived. That was the biggest air crash in the history of Russia’s aviation. It was announced on November 17 that the crash had been caused by an act of terror committed by means of a home-made explosive devise with a yield of up to one kilogram of TNT. Following the crash, Russia suspended air service with Egypt.