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‘It is not clear’: Putin says Russian tourists are no closer to going abroad as world governments can't figure out what to do

‘It is not clear’: Putin says Russian tourists are no closer to going abroad as world governments can't figure out what to do
Russian President Vladimir Putin has no idea when countries will open their borders to Russian tourists, because the world's governments can't work out what they want to do – and other Europeans don't even agree with each other.

That's according to the president himself, speaking with Vitaly Savelyev, head of Russia's flag-carrying airline Aeroflot.

“It is not clear what our partners in many countries of the world will do, including in Europe, as they still can't figure out between themselves,” he said. “And it is not clear when they will open their borders and territories to third-country nationals, including Russian citizens, even during the summer holidays.”

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Two weeks ago, Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow was discussing the opening of borders with other countries, but nothing had yet been decided. On Thursday, the country's Federal Air Transport Agency extended the ban on international flights until August 1.

According to Savelyev, Aeroflot is currently using a “chessboard” seating plan, “because there is an opportunity” due to low numbers of passengers. When passenger loads get back to normal, the company plans to abandon this arrangement.

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“The seating will not be like a chessboard, it will be normal seating. Otherwise, planes will just not fly, and the economy will not work,” Savelyev said. The airline CEO also explained that flying on a plane is safe, as modern aircraft are equipped with HEPA filters, which purify the air at 97–99% efficiency.

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