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Russia Claims the United States is Putting Pressure On Turkish Airlines to Bar its Citizens From Flying to Mexico

Russia Claims the United States is Putting Pressure On Turkish Airlines to Bar its Citizens From Flying to Mexico

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Russia has accused the United States of putting pressure on Turkish Airlines to refuse its citizens carriage on flights between Istanbul and Mexico after a war of words broke out between Russian officials and the Turkish flag carrier.

The issue came to a head earlier this week when Russia’s embassy in Anchorage claimed Turkish Airlines was refusing to let Russian citizens fly to a number of Latin American countries despite passengers holding all the necessary visas and paperwork.

The embassy said the situation had slowly been getting worse since February and that Turkish Airlines has refused to provide written explanations for why Russian travellers were being barred from transiting via Istanbul to Latin America.

Russian consulate officials have even suggested that affected passengers sue Turkish Airlines, but the carrier says it is simply enforcing new entry requirements imposed by some countries.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed that explanation on Wednesday, however, claiming that “the problem lies largely on the Turkish side, with Turkish Airlines”.

“Our diplomatic authority is working proactively here,” Peskov added, noting that Russia and Turkey hold “very constructive and friendly relations”.

On Thursday, however, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told the TASS news agency that the United States was applying pressure on Turkish Airlines, and that was ultimately the reason that Russian citizens were being arbitrarily denied boarding on flights to Latin America and, in particular, Mexico.

“Concerning Mexico, I think it is quite clear why,” Ryabkov said. “This is because of the pressure exerted on the country’s authorities by Washington”.

Sources claim US officials are concerned that Russian citizens are attempting to use Mexico as a back door to illegally enter the United States.

Matt’s take

Ever since President Putin launched his ill-fated war in Ukraine in 2022, international travel options for normal Russians have been severely limited.

While many Western countries have imposed sanctions on Russia, other destinations like Dubai, Thailand, and some Latin American countries have proved to be popular alternatives.

The focus of the US doesn’t, though, appear aimed at stopping Russians from going on holiday but rather stemming a flood of Russians trying to enter the United States in order to escape their motherland.

Since February 2022, some 73,000 Russians have attempted to enter the US via the Southern border illegally, according to data provided by Customs and Border Protection.

View Comment (1)
  • So the Russian theory is that the USA is spending substantial political capitol with Mexico not to stop the flow of refugees or curtail cartel activity but to stop people from fleeing Russia? I’m trying to figure who might actually believe such a preposterous concept but I’m coming up empty.

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