The Phuket Info Center, operated by the Phuket office of the Ministry of Interior, shared the news story posted by Thai media company WorkpointTODAY on the Phuket Info Center official Facebook page yesterday (Apr 7).
“Thailand is one of the 52 friendly countries that Russia is preparing to open to again after being closed since the COVID-19 outbreak,” the story begins.
Russian state news agency TASS on Tuesday (Apr 5) reported Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin saying that Russia will reopen air routes for the 52 friendly countries from tomorrow (April 9).
“Among the 52 countries that will open routes on April 9, it was found that Thailand was included,” said the report.
Other “friendly countries” were named as Algeria, Argentina, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Venezuela, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Israel, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Iraq, Kenya, China, North Korea, Costa Rica, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Mauritius, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Mozambique. Namibia, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Serbia, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, Fiji, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, South Africa and Jamaica.
“From Mr Mishustin’s announcement, Russia will open round-trip flights to and from the countries listed above, which have been classified as a friendly country, meaning a country that does not cooperate with the United States and Western nations in enforcing sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine,” the report continued.
Mr Mishustin also said that Russia will also lift restrictions on cross-border land travel between Russia and China, the report added.
“However, Russia still does not open air routes for countries listed in the hostile nation that jointly announced sanctions against Russia,” the report continued.
The report said that Russia had chosen to close its airspace to flights from 36 countries, including 27 EU member states, in response to sanctions imposed by the West over Russia’s “military operations in Ukraine launched on Feb 24”
However, in line with a much more common understanding of the situation, the report did recognise that the Russian aviation industry faces heavy pressure from Western sanctions, with companies cancelling lease agreements with Russian airlines for more than 500 aircraft.
The Russian airlanes face having any previously leased aircraft seized on landing in a country enforcing the sanctions.
The airlines also are unable to purchase spare parts or receive maintenance services from American or European companies, the report noted.