Russia uses Serbia to fly to Europe to circumvent EU sanctions

The Guardian reports that the Russians use Serbia as a loophole to flee to Europe and circumvent the ban on flights to and from Russia.

The state-owned Air Serbia has doubled its number of direct flights from Moscow to Belgrade to 15 a week to meet growing demand after the EU banned Russian planes and airlines from staying in its airspace following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia has responded by closing its airspace to EU and British aircraft.

Serbia is not a member of the EU and has refused to impose sanctions on Russia, but its planes are free to cross EU airspace. This made the Balkan country “the only European air corridor that remained open to Russia,” according to ForwardKeys.

According to ForwardKeys, the number of passenger seats between Russia and Serbia increased by 50% in the first week of March compared to the week before Russian tanks entered Ukraine. According to the company, the capacity is planned to increase further in the coming weeks.

Russians arriving in Serbia travel to Europe, with the most popular destinations being Cyprus, France, Switzerland, and Italy. Russians also travel to the UK, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, and Spain.


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