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    Russia Lifts Restrictions on Charter Flights to Turkey

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    Moscow has lifted restrictions on charter flights to Turkey, a source told RIA Novosti. However, a Transport Ministry spokesman later said it was premature to announce the resumption of flights because the corresponding decree has not been signed.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian airlines willing to operate charter flights to Turkey may submit corresponding applications to Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency, a source in the agency told RIA Novosti on Saturday.

    "Today restrictions on charter flights to Turkey were lifted, all interested airlines can apply to carry out flights," the source said.

    Russia's Transport Ministry has submitted to the Cabinet a draft to abolish restrictions on charter flights to Turkey, but it has not been signed off as yet, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Saturday.

    "The Ministry of Transport has submitted the corresponding draft resolution," Natalia Timakova told RIA Novosti.

    Later on Saturday, a Transport Ministry spokesman told RIA Novosti that it was premature to announce resumption of charter flights to Turkey without a corresponding governmental decree.

    Charter flights between Russia and Turkey were suspended after the downing of a Russian Su-24 combat plane by the Turkish Air Force in November 2015 over Syria.

    On June 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree instructing the government to take steps aimed at lifting restrictions on tourist travel to Turkey as well as on charter flights after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote a letter in which he apologized for the downing of the jet and extended his condolences to the family of the pilot killed in the incident.

    Following a meeting in Saint Petersburg with the Turkish leader on August 9, Putin announced Moscow's decision to resume charter flights to Turkey.

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    charter flights, Russian Federal Air Transport Agency, Turkey, Russia
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