Updated at 18:07,08-09-2017

Suspension of Russian tourist flights to Turkey to affect Belarusians

Illa Malinousky, Euroradio

On the evening of November 24, the Russian President Vladimir Putin called the attack on the Russian Su-24 bomber on the border with Turkey and Syria "a stab in the back". He stated that the incident would have implications for relations between Russia and Turkey.

On the morning of the next day the Federal Tourism Agency of Russia issued an appeal urging to cease flights of Russian tourists to Turkey. It explains the decision by the fact that the Turkish Republic is now under "increased threat of terrorism, and in such circumstances it is very complicated to adopt measures to protect Russian citizens and provide them with protection from the Russian Federation."

"For now we are observing the situation, studying it, the Belarusian Ministry of Sport and Tourism commented on the situation. We are conduct consultations here with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. So, we will monitor developments, but so far a categorical ban like that is not on the table."

In fact, Russian tour operators are advised to no longer sell the trips to Turkey, including through third countries. But those who would not comply with the advice are warned that they will be violating the laws of Russia.

During the day, all the Russian tour operators stopped selling trips to Turkey. Now tourists who have already purchased tickets are offered to change bookings for a trip to any other direction.

"Our company does not have a flight program from the cities of Belarus," said representative of the major Russian tour operator "Pegasus-Touristic" in Minsk. Accordingly, visits to Turkey are also temporarily suspended for the residents of our country.

Russian Su-24 was shot down by the Turkish military on November 24. Turkish President said that it whappened after ten warnings that the plane was in the Turkish airspace. The Russian Defense Ministry refuted this. According to them the plane was on the territory of Syria. It is known that one of the pilots of the downed bomber was shot as he descended by parachute, the second is now at Russian airbase.