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Two Kazakh, Turkish Airlines Suspend Russia Flights

Air Astana, which operates flights to several destinations in Russia said it was seeking to "restore flights as soon as possible." Gavriil Grigorov/TASS

Kazakhstan's national airline Air Astana and Turkish budget airline Pegasus Airlines said Friday they were temporary suspending flights to Russia, following sanctions imposed on Moscow over what it calls a "military operation" in Ukraine.

The companies made the decision because of uncertainties over insurance of aircraft bound for Russia, they said in separate press releases.

Air Astana, which operates flights to several destinations in Russia said it was seeking to "restore flights as soon as possible."

Pegasus Airlines said that its flights to Russia will be suspended from March 13 to 27. 

The Turkish airline said this measure was linked to "operational risks" due to the sanctions imposed by the European Union. 

As a result of Western sanctions, the insurances of air carriers operating flights to Russia are no longer valid. 

To continue operating requires state financial guarantees, like Israel has done for its airlines operating flights to Russia. 

Britain, Canada, the European Union and the United States have suspended flights to Russia and closed their airspace to Russian aircraft as part of sanctions.

Russia retaliated, blocking airlines from those countries from flying over its territory.

Air links are still open from some countries to and from Russia, including Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

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