: Russia in desperate efforts to save tourist season in occupied Crimea

13:44 May. 6, 2016

Russia in desperate efforts to save tourist season in occupied Crimea

A Boeing 747-400 jet airliner at Moscow's Vnukovo International Airport. Moscow, Russia. April, 7, 2016. (Getty Images)

Officials added the peninsula to the list of subsidized flight directions

Russia invents new means of attracting tourists in desperate efforts to increase the overall statistics on the resorts of the currently occupied Crimean peninsula. According to the most recent law of the Russian government, the list of privileged flight routes now includes the Crimean direction.

"In order to make the trips to Crimea more available for the residents of distant Russian regions, as well as for developing the inner tourist market Crimean destinations are to be included to on list of subsidized air flights", an official statement on the website says.

Along with the number of low-cost flights, Kremlin officials also prolonged the period of using the privileges til late November.

Those who are entitled to flying on special conditions are people under the age of 23, people with special needs, as well as those accompanying them.

Watch also Exclusive Interview: Ukraine to penetrate Crimean airspace

Crimea was illegally annexed by Russia in March 2014. Since then all airports on the peninsula are closed according to Ukraine's government decision. Any flights to and from Russia-occupied Crimea are against the Ukrainian laws. Therefore, the airlines might be fined in terms of Ukraine's and International Civil Aviation Organization's sanctions. Currently, Russia is the only country having air connection with the occupied peninsula.

Read also Battle choppers over the occupied Crimea

Ukraine's Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) officially declared February 20, 2014, a beginning of Russia's occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol. Numerous world leaders strongly condemned the illegal annexation and launched a range of economic sanctions against Russia. Despite the overall resentment, Moscow rejects the notion "occupation", naming its deeds instead "a renewal of historical justice".

Read also Russian activist gets three years in jail for claiming Crimea is Ukraine  

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