Russian security experts will be permanently stationed at Egyptian airports to follow up on the enforcement of security measures demanded by Russia in order to resume flights to Egypt, Russian transportation minister Maksim Sokolov said in a televised interview Monday.
“Russian experts will not only be stationed to follow up on the application of security measures; they will also be stationed in airports permanently even after flights are resumed between Egypt and Russia,” Sokolov said in an interview broadcast on Russia-24 channel.
He added that the Russia is currently preparing for bilateral talks with the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority to review the conditions and circumstances under which the Russian experts are expected to work.
“Only the Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation has the authority to announce such measures. We cannot provide an official comment on these statements as of yet; we cannot rely on statements circulated solely by the media,” Ministry of Civil Aviation spokesperson Ehab Raslan told Daily News Egypt on Wednesday.
Sokolov clarified that Russia is awaiting confirmation from the Egyptian authorities that their demands have been executed. After receiving confirmation, experts and specialists will check that the demands were implemented correctly.
Raslan denied that the ministry has received any official demand from the Russian transportation ministry regarding this request.
Sokolov asserted that flights will only resume when their demands have been met. The Russian political leadership supports this decision, he noted.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov recently announced that Moscow is working with Egyptian authorities to resume “direct flights” to Egypt, as reported by state-owned Russian news agency TASS.
“We agreed to recommence flights as soon as possible, provided that the highest security standards are guaranteed for Russian citizens,” Lavrov said after meeting with Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry in Cairo.
Moscow banned all direct flights to Egypt in November 2015 after a Russian passenger plane was downed in October 2015 over the Sinai Peninsula shortly after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh, a well-known tourist destination on the Red Sea.