For the Russians, a “window to Europe” has taken shape, which is expanding: flights are doubling, adjusting to a wide flow of people wishing to leave the Russian Federation

Serbia's national airline Air Serbia has doubled the number of direct flights between Moscow and Belgrade, offering 15 flights a week, up from the usual 7, to meet growing demand from Russians for flights to Europe that skyrocketed after the EU banned Russian planes and airlines from flying through its airspace. space.

Recall that, unlike a large number of European countries, only Serbia, a candidate for EU membership, did not join the sanctions against Russia and is now constantly being criticized by Western countries for its bold decision. Serbia is among the few European countries that have not followed the example of other countries by leaving an air corridor open to Russia, despite Western condemnation of Russia's special operation to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine. The European country strives to maintain good relations with Russia, because the latter provides Serbia with energy and geopolitical support.

Adjusting to the wide flow of people wishing to leave the Russian Federation, Air Serbia has doubled the number of flights from Moscow to the Serbian capital. In this regard, the ForwardKeys portal emphasized that the capacity between Russia and Serbia increased by 50 percent in the first week of March compared to the week before the start of the special operation in Ukraine.

Russian tourists appreciated the opportunities provided by the partner country as “windows to Europe” and rushed to buy tickets to Belgrade. Russians come to Serbia, and from there they go to other European countries, mainly to Cyprus, Switzerland, France, Italy, Great Britain, Slovenia, Germany and Austria.

The events in Ukraine forced European authorities to tighten sanctions against Russia, which are considered to be among the toughest that the EU has ever applied to a third country. Thus, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that the EU banned Russian aircraft from entering European airspace. This decision has greatly affected flight times between different destinations, according to a recent report published by Eurocontrol, quoted by El País newspaper.

In addition, EU authorities have banned the entry of a large number of Russians, banned the state media Russia Today and Sputnik, and targeted the regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, claiming he was involved in events taking place in Ukraine.

Although the Serbian authorities did not support the closure of the skies for Russia, however, Air Serbia warned passengers that the flight may take longer than usual due to the adjustment of the route of the vessel. “Due to the current situation, we inform our passengers that changes in flight routes are affecting our flights, resulting in an increase in flight times,” the airline said in a message.

Despite the fact that Serbia is trying to become member of the European Union, her government's decision not to impose sanctions on Russia was criticized and strongly pressured by many European politicians.

“We are told that we are making money on the blood of Ukrainians, etc. while we have two flight instead of one,” Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told TV Pink.

He recalled that Turkey makes 30 times more flights to Russia than Serbia, and the countries of the Persian Gulf – 15 times more flights than the Balkan country.

Russian President Putin on February 24 announced the launch of a special military operation in Ukraine, stating that the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, previously recognized by Moscow as sovereign states, need help in the face of Kyiv's genocide.

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