Russia seeks guarantee from Turkey for arriving planes
Russia is seeking assurances from Turkey that planes carrying Russian tourists will not be seized when they land in Turkey under the sanctions the western countries imposed on Moscow over the invasion of Ukraine.
Some 2.5 million to 3 million Russian tourists are expected to visit Turkey this year, however, due to the war, Russian planes will be able to serve only 400,000 to 500,000 of those travelers, daily Milliyet reported, quoting Russian newspaper Kommersant.
Fearing the sanctions, Russia is now seeking guarantees for the leased planes that state-owned and private Russian airline companies use that those aircraft will not be seized when they arrive in Turkey.
Russian airlines companies operate a total of 781 planes, and 571 of them were leased from other countries. There is a risk that the firms that lease those planes to Russian airlines have the right to request that they should be seized. That is why Russians are seeking assurances from Turkey.
According to the report, the Russian side is holding talks with the Transport Ministry. Yet, Russian legal experts argue that Turkey is not in a position to make such a pledge on its own. Moscow secured only guarantees from Kazakhstan so far.
Turkish Airlines plans to increase the number of its weekly flights to Russia to 300 by allocating extra 25 airplanes. However, Russians do not want to lose their share in the flights between the two countries. Kommersant claimed that if Ankara does not provide the guarantees Russia seeks, Moscow may impose some restrictions on Turkish Airlines.
In 2019, more than 7 million Russian visited Turkey, while only 2.1 million holidaymakers from Russia arrived in the country in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, Turkey welcomed 4.7 million Russian tourists.