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The Government of Russia is planning to ease Covid-19 restrictions and resume flight operations to and from 52 ‘friendly countries’ after 9 April, Reuters reported.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that the country will operate flights to and from friendly nations, including Argentina and South Africa, that are not part of the list of countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia for its military attack on Ukraine.

Russia has termed its actions a ‘special operation’ to demilitarise Ukraine.

As part of Western sanctions, countries including the UK, Canada, Europe, and the US have closed their airspace to Russian airlines.

In response, Russia also announced the closure of its airspace to airlines from 36 countries, including all 27 members of the European Union (EU).

Last month, Russian flag carrier Aeroflot also temporarily suspended its international flight services.

However, Aeroflot will continue to operate flights to neighbouring Belarus.

In March 2020, Russia imposed travel curbs in order to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

Several of these restrictions are still in effect, although the country has now decided to gradually add more countries to the list of nations for safe air journeys.

In addition to Argentina and South Africa, Russia’s coronavirus task force plans to restart air travel with Algeria, China, Lebanon, Peru and Pakistan, Reuters said. The Russian Prime Minister further noted that the country will remove travel curbs across the land border with China.