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Russia Could Ground International Flights Under New Proposal

Igor Ivanko / Moskva News Agency

New rules could grant Russian authorities the power to ground international flights if Russian airlines fail to provide personal information about passengers or if they pose a “security threat.”

Unnamed sources within Russia’s aviation industry told the Kommersant business daily that the Federal Security Service (FSB) has been seeking to tighten regulations governing international flights for the past three years. 

Airlines could also face month-long flight bans for failing to provide the requested information, including the citizenship of its passengers, more than once. Three or more violations could result in year-long flight bans for the company. 

Political, social and economic factors could be deemed “security threats” in addition to man-made disasters, environmental catastrophes and terrorist attacks, according to Pavel Ikkert of the Moscow-based NAFCO law firm.

“In practice, this means a virtually unlimited list of reasons to ban international flights,” Ikkert told Kommersant.

Experts told the publication that airlines are already collecting the requested information under the new proposal. 

The regulation is currently undergoing public debates. If approved, the measures could be introduced next year.

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