The Russian authorities have permitted to increase the number of charter flights to repatriate Tajik nationals stranded in the Russian Federation, Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin told reporters in Dushanbe on July 27.

According to him, Tajik air carriers will now operate 14 charter flights per week instead of the previous ten charter flights.   

“To-date, 16,400 our nationals stranded in foreign countries due to the coronavirus pandemic have been returned to Tajikistan,” said the minister, “Of this number 8,000 have been brought back from the Russian Federation.”  

The minister further noted that special working groups had been set up at all Tajik diplomatic missions abroad, and 42,603 Tajik nationals had applied to them to date.  “Of them, 41,000 have applied to our diplomatic mission and consulates in the Russian Federation,” Muhriddin noted.

Meantime, the head of the Civil Aviation Agency, Ikrom Subhonzoda, told reporters yesterday that Tajikistan is ready to resume regular flights to the Russian Federation.

According to him, the foreign ministries of Tajikistan and Russia are discussing this issue.  “Russian aviation authorities have sent a letter to us noting that they are ready to re-launch regular flights between the two countries and we also expressed readiness to resume regular flights between our countries,” Subhonzoda said.      

Recall, Russia has decided to resume regular flights to some countries beginning on August 1.  

According to Russian media reports, Russian authorities said on Friday it will resume some international flights on August 1 after a four-month pause to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“We have made a decision to re-launch international air travel,” said Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin at the start of a cabinet meeting, according to TASS.

Flights will initially resume from Moscow, Saint Petersburg and the southern city of Rostov.

Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said that for the moment Russia would only resume flights with Britain, Tanzania and Turkey.

Flights to London and Turkish cities Ankara and Istanbul will resume on August 1, with air travel to three Turkish resorts popular among Russians beginning again on August 10, she said.

Russians will only be allowed to travel to the island of Zanzibar in Tanzania, which Golikova said was an “exotic route” that is “popular among a certain category of our citizens.”

She said foreigners arriving in Russia will have to show a negative coronavirus test completed within 72 hours before departure.

Transport Minister Yevgeny Ditrikh said Russia was in negotiations with 30 more countries to restart flights.

As it had been reported earlier, flights from and to Tajikistan were suspended on March 20 for the purpose of preventing the spreading of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to the country.

The Russian Federation suspended air services with other countries on March 27.

Since late May, Tajikistan has organized a number of charter flights to repatriate its nationals who were unable to return home due to Covid19 crisis and closure of airports in both Tajikistan and the Russia.  To-date, more than 6,000 Tajik nationals have been returned to Tajikistan from Russia by charter flights.