After suspending flights to Egypt earlier this month, Russia may impose flight bans on other countries, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said during a press conference after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila. The Russian government imposed a ban on all flights to and from Egypt Nov. 6 after a bomb brought down one of its passenger jets over the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people aboard. The plane was en route to St. Petersburg from the Sharm el-Sheikh resort in Egypt Oct. 31 when it exploded in flight.
Medvedev said Thursday Russia cannot prohibit its nationals from visiting any country and there is no obvious problem that makes a ban urgently necessary, but further measures may be adopted nonetheless, the Russian news agency Tass reported. “I cannot rule out that in certain conditions, we will have to consider these issues regarding other destinations and other countries, but I hope this will not happen,” he said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the current flight ban will stay in place until Egypt takes measures to ensure traveler safety.
The Islamic State group, which has claimed responsibility for placing the bomb in the airplane, published a photo in its Dabiq magazine Wednesday of the purported device. The photo displays a soda can beside a detonator and switch. The group, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh, said it snuck the bomb onto the plane before takeoff from the airport in retaliation for Russia airstrikes in Syria.
“After having discovered a way to compromise the security at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport ... a bomb was smuggled onto the airplane,” the magazine said. “And so revenge was exacted upon those who felt safe in the cockpits of their jets.”
American and British officials have said since the crash a bomb was likely the cause of the disaster although Russian authorities only adopted the stance on Tuesday.