Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin chairs a meeting of the government commission in Moscow. Reuters
Russia plans to resume flights to and from Argentina, South Africa and other "friendly countries", Mishustin said, meaning those that have not joined the latest wave of Western sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a "special operation" to demilitarise its neighbour.
Russia imposed broad travel restrictions at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, many of which remain in force, but has gradually expanded the list of countries deemed safe for air travel.
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Other countries with which Russia will resume flights after April 9 include Algeria, China, Lebanon, Peru and Pakistan, Russia's coronavirus task force said.
Mishustin also said Russia would be lifting restrictions on travel across the land border between Russia and China.
Russia has closed its airspace to airlines from 36 countries, including all 27 members of the European Union, in response to Ukraine-related sanctions targeting its aviation sector.
Punitive measures imposed by Western powers have also forced Western firms to terminate leasing contracts with Russian airlines for over 500 aircraft.
The sanctions also prevent Russian airlines from buying aircraft parts or maintenance services from Europe or the United States, adding to the pressure on the world's 11th largest aviation market from a ban on using North American and European airspace.
A government body dealing with the pandemic said the monthlong travel restrictions would start from Saturday and aim to prevent the spread into the country of coronavirus strains from other countries which are believed to be more contagious.
"It is not just a mission that brought back stranded and distressed citizens from around the world, but Vande Bharat has been a mission of hope and happiness, of letting people know that they will not be left behind even in the most testing times," Puri said.
The latest phase of these repatriation flights, known as the "Vande Bharat Mission," began on March 1 and will last till March 28. Slightly more than 1,350 international flights are scheduled to be operated from 28 countries in this phase, enabling an estimated 260,000 Indians to travel home.
The Airline Ratings awards acknowledge the best of the aviation industry and rank airlines on their innovation, route networks and safety score against strict assessment criteria.
Now the two leaders — Democratic President Joe Biden and Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy — must sell their weekend agreement to their members of Congress.
New Zealand's GeoNet monitoring agency said the epicentre was 33 kilometres (21 miles) below the earth's surface. There was no immediate tsunami warning and no reports of damage on the New Zealand mainland.