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Serbia Doubles Number of Flights to Russia Despite EU’s Ban on Russian Aircraft

The national carrier of Serbia, Air Serbia, has decided to increase the number of flights from Belgrade to Moscow, thus remaining one of the few countries that decided not to ban Russian airlines from flying in their airspace.

The official website of Air Serbia shows that from next week, the airline will offer 15 direct flights to Moscow per week. Before any restrictions were imposed on Russia, the airline operated only eight flights.

This means that the total number of flights that will now operate between Belgrade and Moscow will increase by seven. In addition, the increase indicates that up to three direct flights will be operated per day, reports.

However, due to changes to flight paths, the airline has warned all passengers that they may face longer flight times.

“Due to the current situation, we are informing our passengers that changes in flight paths are affecting our flights, causing the flight time to be prolonged,” the airline noted.

Although Serbia is a candidate to join the European Union, its authorities have refused to impose sanctions on Russia. Analysts argue that the decision not to impose sanctions on Russia may delay Serbia’s accession to the EU as Serbia’s foreign policies do not appear to be in line with those of EU member states.

The sanctions against Russia turned out to be among the harshest the European Union has ever imposed on a third country.

Just a week after Russia invaded Ukraine, the European Union decided to ban all Russian aircraft from operating in its airspace. The move was announced by the President of the European Union Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who also made it clear that the ban includes private planes for Russian oligarchs as well.

Immediately after the European Union announced its decision to ban all Russian flights from its space, the Russian authorities responded in kind.

>> Europe and Russia ban other airlines from flying in their airspace

Previously, the Council of the European Union decided to impose sanctions on an additional 26 Russian individuals and one Russian entity. The council revealed that the lists include businessmen and minority members who are active in the banking, oil and financial affairs sector.

With the newly made additions, the restrictions now apply to a total of 680 Russians and 53 entities. The restrictions include freezing assets and prohibiting funds from being made available to them. Moreover, the restrictions also include travel bans.

>> EU member states ask their citizens to avoid traveling to Russia

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