UPDATE: Russian official: US not to ban Aeroflot flights
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MOSCOW/WASHINGTON, Aug 9 (PRIME) -- The U.S. will not ban AeroflotТ flights to the country as it would cut direct air travel with Russia, Sergei Ryabukhin, chairman of the budget committee of the parliamentТs upper house Federation Council, told PRIME on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the U.S. slapped new sanctions on Russia for its alleged involvement in the Skripal poisoning case. Sources told NBC television channel that the first package of restrictions includes a full ban on imports of dual-use devices and component parts to Russia, while the second tranche may include a ban on flights of Russian national flagship carrier Aeroflot.
УThis March, U.S. airline Delta completely stopped direct flights to Russia, while previously they carried out seasonal flights. The U.S. wonТt cancel direct air travel with Russia,Ф Ryabukhin said.
Some European airlines offer flights from Russia to the U.S. and back, but these are connection flights, he said.
AeroflotТs fleet comprises mainly FranceТs Airbus and U.S. Boeing planes. УThe suspension of Aeroflot flights to the U.S. will hit their own producer, an American company. This is dire nonsense,Ф he said.
A high-ranking representative of the U.S. Department of State said that the U.S. sanctions against Russia over the Salisbury incident are not directly aimed at Aeroflot, but can indirectly affect the airline in terms of supplies of dual-use equipment that will be prohibited.
Alexis Rodzyanko, head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia (AmCham), said the U.S. will unlikely ban Aeroflot flights to the country, as this would hurt common citizens.