Chairwoman of the Russian Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko is set to lead an official delegation to visit Cairo this spring, the upper house of parliament’s vice chairman told Russian newspaper Izvestia, according to state news agency MENA.
The Russian newspaper cited Egyptian parliamentary sources as saying the delegation will mainly discuss resuming air flights between Russia and Egypt.
Russia imposed a ban on flights to Egypt shortly after a Russian passenger jet crashed in Sinai in October 2015, killing all 224 people on board, most of them holidaymakers.
The Russian official said the visit is expected to boost Russian-Egyptian relations, especially on counterterrorism and security issues.
Earlier this year, Russia’s Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said that Russian flights to Egyptian Red Sea resort cities would resume in the near future.
Nearly 3 million Russians, out of 9.6 million tourists of all nationalities, visited Egypt in 2014, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism.
Egyptian tourism, a pillar of the country’s economy and a key source of hard currency, has taken a blow since the passenger plane crash.
The economy of Sinai’s Sharm El-Sheikh is believed to have suffered the most.
Egypt’s revenues from tourism dropped from $6.1 billion in 2015 to $3.4 billion in 2016, according to statements made last week by Central Bank Governor, Tarek Amer.
Source: Ahram online