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More Officials Make VIP List for Cushy Airport Lounges

Special service at airports has been extended to more officials and foreign dignitaries. E. Razuminy

The list of individuals entitled to VIP treatment in several major Russian airports has been expanded to include such figures as former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev and the top executives of major government corporations.

The presidential affairs office broadened the list of those serviced in the halls for dignitaries and delegations in the Moscow, Moscow region, St. Petersburg and Sochi airports with a Sept. 23 order, which was then registered by the Justice Ministry on Nov. 1 and published online Friday by Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

Former Russian presidents and prime ministers and the former heads of foreign governments were added to the list, as well as a whole range of Russian officials.

Presidential council members, the business ombudsman's regional representatives and assistants to State Duma deputies and Federation Council members are all now authorized to use the VIP areas.

The families of numerous prominent officials such as the president and executives of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the human rights ombudsman and Russian ambassadors serving abroad were also granted access.

The Orthodox Church gained some privileges too, with members of the Supreme Church Council, escorts of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and other church elite now eligible for special service.

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