The Egyptian leadership continues to voice optimistic forecasts regarding the timing of the restoration of air traffic with Russia. Nevertheless, the estimated date for the opening of Egypt for Russian tourists is still constantly shifting. This time the head of the Ministry of Civil Aviation of the Arab Republic of Egypt Sheriff Fathi shared his assumptions on this matter.
“I cannot name a specific timeframe, but I expect it to happen at the end of this year,” the official said on the air of the CBC Extra TV channel. According to him, at the moment, Russia and Egypt are actively working on this issue, and recently the parties adopted a roadmap with specific tasks, which suggests that the restoration of air traffic may occur soon enough. However, Sheriff Fathi admitted that Egypt does not quite understand the decision-making mechanism of the Russian side, adding that during the last check, experts from the Russian Federation again found a number of flaws in the operation of CCTV cameras, etc. “There is no stubbornness on the part of Russia, and all the requirements are quite justified, which speaks of the desire of the Russian Federation for cooperation, «the official added.
However, the Russian side itself does not exclude that the history of transportation may come to its logical conclusion by the end of this year. At least, according to Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Arkady Dvorkovich, there is hope for this, but only if the Egyptian side installs additional equipment.
Here we are talking about an automatic system of biometric access of employees to closed areas of airports. “The main thing is the installation of an automatic biometric access system. We hope that it will be ready in the near future, since the contracts for its installation have already been signed by the Egyptian side, ”Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said the other day. At the same time, the head of the department noted that the remaining shortcomings of the Egyptian airports are not of such a large-scale nature. “This is mainly due to video surveillance around the perimeter of the airport and air terminal complexes, the organization of special access zones for pre-flight screening of our tourists, the organization of additional screening and security measures right when leaving the gates on board the aircraft in a clean zone,” the official explained.
So, it is obvious that the previously voiced opinion of experts that the opening of Egypt will take place only after the parties are able to agree at the highest level most of all looks like the truth. At the same time, everyone is well aware that by delaying the resumption of air traffic, Russia marvels at the leadership of Egypt, while receiving considerable benefits.
Here we are talking about the purchase of Russian short-haul aircraft «Sukhoi Superjet 100», and about the purchase of our helicopters for the French «Mistrals». “In my opinion, now the issue of security does not play a key role in the restoration of air traffic. Egypt has done a lot this year, and I don’t think it’s all about security. There are other questions now. Egypt has supported Russia for a long time, both politically and economically, «Sergei Zalivin, executive director of the Egyptian receiving travel agency» ALS-tour «, told the TURPROM newsgroup correspondent earlier. At the same time, the expert cited Turkey as an example — the ban on the sale of tours to the republic was lifted after negotiations between Putin and Erdogan, even despite the terrorist attack at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, which darkened these negotiations.
However, in the case of Egypt, the solution of the problem is unlikely to be done only by an agreement between the presidents of the countries, since the very “other issues” that Sergei Zalivin mentioned are not resolved with just one phone call.
For example, a few days ago, the former head of the state corporation «Rosatom» Sergei Kiriyenko made a statement regarding the contract between the Russian Federation and Egypt for the construction of a nuclear power plant. According to him, the parties have almost completed the coordination of all the details, and the signing of the agreement may take place before the end of this year.
In addition, today it became known that at the moment Russia and Egypt are negotiating the possible supply of shipborne Ka-52K helicopters, intended for Mistral-class helicopter carriers, which ARE bought from France after due to sanctions a supply contract of these vessels in the RF was canceled.
As a result, it turns out that if we adhere to the version that Russia is delaying the resumption of air traffic, based on the desire to conclude global contracts, then it becomes clear that until agreements are signed and helicopters are purchased, one of the most popular tourist directions will be closed.
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