Moscow would like to increase the number of flights between Russia and Serbia, but it is still difficult to make a forecast due to the “serious pressure” of Western countries on Belgrade, said Yury Pilipson, Director of the Fourth European Department of the Foreign Ministry
Due to the fact that Serbia has not abandoned air links with Russia, Western countries are putting serious pressure on Belgrade, while Moscow would like to increase the number of flights, Yury Pilipson, director of the fourth European department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said in an interview with TASS.
“Today, direct flights from Serbia to Russia— Moscow and St. Petersburg— carried out by the national air carrier Air Serbia»,— he said, adding that it is still difficult to predict an increase in flights due to pressure from the West.
Pilipson also believes that Western countries are trying to disrupt air traffic between Russia and Turkey with the help of sanctions.
Since the end of February, many major Russian airlines have suspended international flights after the closure of the airspace of the EU and other states for them, as well as after sanctions, due to which European leasing companies suspended deliveries of aircraft and spare parts to Russia and began to delay already provided liners at foreign airports .
In response, Russia banned airlines from 36 countries from using its airspace, and domestic companies began to transfer foreign aircraft to the Russian registry.
Russia resumed air traffic with 52 “friendly countries” on April 9, which was suspended in connection with the coronavirus pandemic. Since May 3, all coronavirus restrictions on entry into the country have been lifted in Serbia.
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Serbia refuses to join the EU sanctions against Russia, in connection with which it is criticized by other countries of the union. At the same time, she joined the UN General Assembly resolution condemning Russia's actions in Ukraine.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in mid-May that Belgrade was facing the consequences of its stance on sanctions, in particular the lack of market access capital and difficulties in servicing loans. Despite this, Serbia will resist sanctions against Russia to the last, he said. At the same time, Vučić emphasized that Serbia's position is not anti-Western or Russophobic, despite being surrounded by NATO countries, Belgrade does not consider such a policy to be effective.
Croatian Prime Minister Andrei Plenkovic called on Serbia to stop “sitting on two chairs” and take a position. Vucic also said that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz “clearly and sharply” asked him to impose sanctions against Russia.