Air-bubble arrangement between India, Russia to come into effect from tomorrow

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New Delhi, Feb 11 (PTI) India and Russia have concluded an air-bubble arrangement and it will come into effect from Friday, the Russian Embassy said.

Under the pact between the two countries, special international passenger flights can be operated by their airlines into each other's territories under restrictive conditions.

'We would like to inform that the Russian and Indian sides have concluded an air bubble arrangement coming in to effect on February 12, 2021,' the Russian Embassy said in a statement on Thursday. 'We also would like to emphasise that the entry of tourists from Russia is not yet possible.' Scheduled international flights continue to remain suspended in India since March 23 last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, special flights have been permitted under air bubbles since July last year.

According to the statement, three categories of passengers would be permitted to travel from India to Russia under this bubble: 'Stranded citizens of Russia; any Indian national or Nepalese national or Bhutanese national holding a valid Russian visa; seamen planning to work in Russia'.

The statement said four categories of passengers can travel from Russia to India under this bubble: 'Indian nationals or Nepalese nationals or Bhutanese nationals stranded in Russia; all overseas citizen of India (OCI) cardholders and person of Indian origin cardholders holding passports of any country; seamen from Russia; Russian nationals intending to visit India for any purpose (including the dependents holding appropriate visa), except tourism'.

India has formed air bubble arrangements with around 24 countries, including the US, UAE, Bahrain, Canada, France, Germany, Kenya, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Japan since July. PTI DSP HMB