Russian President, Vladimir Putin, on Friday ordered the suspension of all Russian passenger flights to Egypt until the cause of a deadly plane crash last weekend is established.
An Airbus A321, operated by a Russian carrier, carrying 224 people crashed on Saturday over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula with all passengers on board killed.
Putin’s decision followed the recommendation of the head of Russia’s FSB security service, Alexander Bortnikov, that Moscow should suspend all passenger flights to Egypt until it knew exactly what caused the crash.
Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has said that “the head of state agreed with these recommendations”.
Peskov said the government would find a way to bring Russians back home and would open talks with Egyptian authorities to guarantee flight safety.
A Sinai-based group affiliated with Islamic State, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the crash, which, if confirmed, would make it the jihadist organization’s first attack on civil aviation.
The United States and Britain have already suggested that the crash was caused by a terrorist attack although no definitive or conclusive statement has been made to that effect by the two countries.
Until now Russia and Egypt had maintained that the plane was not brought down by terrorist activity.