MOSCOW, February 7 (RIA Novosti) – US authorities have announced a temporary ban on allowing liquids, gels and aerosols onboard flights to Russia as security is tightened amid concerns terrorists could disrupt this month's Winter Games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
A statement published by Delta Airlines, the only US carrier with a direct flight from the United States to Moscow, said Thursday these items may be placed in checked baggage, while prescription medications will be allowed onboard.
The warning comes a day after the US Homeland Security Department said that terrorists might use toothpaste and cosmetics tubes to carry explosives to conduct terrorist attacks on the Games.
Despite the ban on liquids, some travelers heading to Sochi through Moscow, including Associated Press reporters, had no problems bringing toothpaste and other items past security checkpoints, the news agency reported.
Sanitary controls at Moscow’s Vnukovo and Sheremetyevo airports have been tightened until March 21 to ensure security at Sochi Olympics, government health and consumer agency Rospotrebnadzor said Friday.
Starting last month, Russian air transportation officials banned almost all liquids from airline carry-on luggage at all the country’s airports. The restrictions followed twin suicide bombings in the city of Volgograd that killed 34 in two separate attacks on a train station and a trolleybus in December.
The attacks came after a leading militant in the North Caucasus, Doku Umarov, called in the summer for attacks on the Sochi Olympics.
Amid the terror threats, Russia has taken unparalleled security measures in cooperation with foreign intelligence services around Sochi. The official opening ceremony for the Games is scheduled to take place Friday.