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    Russian Foreign Office spokesperson Maria Zakharova seen at a briefing on current political affairs.

    Moscow Outraged by Turkey’s Claims of Alleged Visa Bans for Airline Staff

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    Moscow is outraged by Turkish Transport Minister’s statement accusing Russia of denying visas to two Turkish airline companies’ staff, Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, media reports appeared saying that Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines suspended flights to Russia until January 13, as "members of the crews cannot get visas," from Russian authorities.

    Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communications Binali Yildirim said that he considered the issue a violation of international air traffic rules.

    "We were outraged by today’s statement of Turkish transport Minister Yildirim with unfounded accusations of Russia in connection with two Turkish Airlines — Pegasus Airlines and Onur Air — suspending flights to our country. We would recommend the Turkish minister not to engage quickly in the anti-Russia propaganda campaign, but to examine the real situation with the above mentioned Turkish air carriers,” Zakharova said.

    According to the spokeswoman, the suspension of flights to Russia was caused solely by the fact that the airlines authorities, despite the information spread in advance by the Russian Foreign Ministry on the introduction of visa regime with Turkey starting January 1, did not take measures for their staff to apply for the visas on time.

    Another air carrier, Turkish Airlines, which dealt with the issue on time, received multiple annual visas for its pilots and technicians and operates on schedule, Zakharova added.

    On December 1, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on the implementation of special economic measures against Turkey amid the countries’ deteriorating bilateral relations following the downing of a Russian Su-24 jet over Syria.


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