MOSCOW, 25 March (BelTA) – Sixty-three Belarusian citizens remain stranded in the transit zone of Moscow's Vnukovo airport, waiting to be taken home, Press Secretary of the Belarusian Embassy in Russia Oleg Mazuro told BelTA.
The Belarusian airline Belavia might perform another charter flight to Vnukovo this evening.
As for the seven citizens of Belarus, who had flown to Vnukovo from the Dominican Republic the day before, the problems, which arose due to poorly coordinated actions of various Russian agencies, were resolved thanks to the embassy. A bus of the diplomatic mission took these citizens from Vnukovo airport to Domodedovo airport, from where they will take a regular Belavia flight to Minsk at 19.55 .
As BelTA has reported earlier, on 18 March, Russia closed borders to foreign nationals, including citizens of Belarus, over the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Yet, it allowed transit through Moscow's airports Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo providing that citizens do not leave the transit zone and fly to Belarus within 24 hours. However, most Russian flights from the Asia-Pacific region arrive at Moscow's Vnukovo airport from which there are no direct flights to Minsk. Later on, Russia relaxed the transit rules to allow nationals of the CIS states, including Belarus, to fly through Vnukovo airport.
Over this time, Belavia has performed three charter flights to Vnukovo to bring compatriots home. On 20 March, Belavia carried about 100 Belarusian citizens from Vnukovo. The second charter on the night of 23 March transported 82 people, including three foreign nationals (citizens of Armenia, Ukraine and Lithuania). On 24 March, more than 70 people were brought to Minsk, including citizens of Armenia, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Russia and Ukraine.