What was the most difficult in the organization of export flights?
Maria Zakharova: For each sending side is a huge work of several Russian agencies, which included the Ministry of foreign Affairs around the clock. On the website of the Ministry published material about the export routes. It is not only an impressive number of people taken out of list, but a large amount of information about how it was done.
In his telephone talks with foreign colleagues, foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dealt with the subject of the removal of the Russians. Diplomats in Moscow and the embassies decide the issues related to the specification of passenger lists – they often have to be complemented by humanitarian cases, with shuttles tourists are often cut off from their departure due to quarantine, sanitary issues. Some airports were opened under the Russian aircraft as, for example, in India. It happened that we made an exception in the entire state, a fully closed air borders. All the time there are emergency situation: someone had an accident, someone before the flight aggravated a chronic disease. The other day we learned that a minor compatriot in India lost documents. Their design requires the personal presence of the citizen – and the girl is over six hundred kilometers from the Consulate! Look for an exit. And these stories are thousands. It is not only the bureaucratic difficulties. All this is very difficult in human, emotional terms. Behind dry figures of statistics are the stories of specific people, sometimes very dramatic. So we have supplemented the information about each flight links to the videos from them it becomes clear, that many had to pass.
meanwhile, in social networks pop up all the new stories about the tourists who can not wait for the Board. Why still not managed to take most of the countrymen? And when you can complete the operation for their return? Before the may holidays, the foreign Ministry said that there are still approximately 30 thousand people…
Maria Zakharova: just the opposite. Of those who showed up at the end of March – beginning of April, took the vast majority. It was 30 million, brought more than 25 thousand. But there is a feeling that 30 thousand is a magic number – no matter how much we took out of people, it significantly decreases. The reason is only one: constantly growing number of those who want to return home. And the more people return, the more there is interested.
We are talking about registration of new applications for the portal?
Maria Zakharova: Yes. Let’s say someone was selling a ticket for may, and he hoped to the last that the international aviashowsthe message will be restored. But if you look at the numbers, which served as our benchmark in April, we on the way to the goal. This became possible due to the fact that not only Moscow and Petersburg, but other regions are actively involved in the work. Managed to offload the most difficult areas – such as Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and so on. Most recently, on 15 may, was held a difficult flight on the route Mauritius – South Africa – Zanzibar – Moscow. He had long prepared, and then, finally, the crew of the Royal Flight took 280 passengers. And the next day, another 77 people safely departed from Angola. The decision on the formation of export flights from Tunis to Athens (on Thursday afternoon the plane “Aegean airlines” has taken off for Moscow – approx. “RG”), Amman, Dubai, Bishkek, Rome, new York, Delhi, Beirut. Planned several flights to Goa and Denpasar. A working group under the auspices of the Federal air transport Agency contemplating the logistics in Latin America.
you could have additional financial assistance to become an alternative in cases when it is impossible to send the Board? Perhaps it would help many to survive until you reach the border or soften the aviation requirements of the host country.
Maria Zakharova: that is why the government and the decision was made for financial assistance – resolution No. 433. Actually, we are talking about the range of activities: facilitating the return and financial support. We all have different circumstances, many in desperate need to return home. Algorithm of rendering material assistance to stranded travelers (2400 rubles per day per adult and child 1600) is defined by the government of the Russian Federation. This is not a sponsorship of a perpetual vacation, and exceptional support for those who have on hand a return ticket, but cannot use it.
a lot of stories about what people were left without help just because they don’t have a ticket. For example, someone was on medical leave with an open date of return flight, someone was on a business trip…
Maria Zakharova: Such cases do not fall within the scope of the April government decree number 433, which reglamentary the procedure of money transfer. But this does not mean that we are exclusively bureaucratic. Humanitarian cases are considered on an individual basis. We have no magic wand, but we try to do everything in our power. For example, there is a backup, 370 resolution No. government provides assistance to compatriots abroad in emergency situations, when there is a threat to their lives. But it is not embedded under a separate budget. It is assumed that the Embassy may seek funds from permitted activities, that is, in the first place, consular fees. But pic��ednie two months because of the lockdown is no fees they have not received! And yet hundreds of our citizens got the point through on this article – in the form of the same tickets, medicines, clothes, food. Some of the Russian Embassy – as, for example, in the United States – organize the collection of funds in favor of compatriots, help them with accommodation. Volunteers, representatives of the Diaspora and of the Russian Orthodox Church is, of what is called the world. Finally, we know examples of private philanthropy diplomats.
They help tourists at their own expense?
Maria Zakharova: Sometimes simply impossible to refuse – especially when we are talking about patients or families with newborns who have run out of funds. These situations will not podverstache under any rule and is necessary to help. The past two months, we live these stories. And Sergey Lavrov gave its employees exactly the same unit – maximum assistance.
That is Maria Zakharova also helps?
Maria Zakharova: And I do not separate myself from my colleagues. But would not want anything to advertise. I will say one thing – it’s time to help.
And yet many of our citizens abroad have already begun to receive payments from the state?
Maria Zakharova: today it is already more than 18 thousand people. We have carefully studied international experience, and I can say: gratuitous transfer tourists to “real money”, in General, unique. Most States offer their citizens loans. If relatives stuck abroad of American will bring money to the state Department, the state Department will be happy to help translate these funds into his account, but no more. Russia provides real assistance. Can’t say that everything runs smoothly. Sometimes freezes the payment through a Bank or the system fails due to errors in the statement, we have to fix them manually. And yet it turned out that many went abroad… no credit cards! That is, payments to people laid, but how to implement them – is unclear. Finally, each application requires careful checks to prevent fraud.
And it happens?
Maria Zakharova: unfortunately, there are such cases. Colleagues, faced with fraud, falsification of data, when applied to the statements of the fake tickets. There were cases when registered for a flight, and then did not come. Then logged again and again do not come.
Recently, diplomats complained about a group of friends from Goa, who staged an overnight party on the beach, despite the strict quarantine mode in this Indian state. In case the police intervened. Many more of these stories?
Maria Zakharova: Yes, it happens. Recently, in one country, several minors went, according to their parents on a picnic. And there are strict measures of quarantine, and fires cannot breed. In the end, teenagers were arrested for violating local laws. On the one hand, such stories are often caused by stress, psychological fatigue of people – they too can understand. But keep in mind that these stories create additional difficulties in the work of our diplomatic missions, which are already now overloaded.
is There any cooperation between embassies of different countries on the ground? There have been examples when the Russian sides back also foreigners – citizens of Ukraine, Belarus…
Maria Zakharova: Diplomats do demonstrate mutual support in a difficult situation. There are excellent examples of cooperation between the diplomatic missions despite political differences and the sharp rhetoric coming from capitals. In one country (I will not give out exactly where) Ukrainian diplomats acted contrary to the regulations from Kiev to avoid all contact with the Russians and imprisoned its citizens for the flights organized by the Russian side. We also helped to return the citizens of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and other CIS republics.
And what ended the story of the Russian schoolchildren in the US?
Maria Zakharova: Undertaken consistent efforts to return to Russia school-age children who are in the United States through educational programmes and was in a difficult situation in connection with the spread of coronavirus infection. Together with other Russian specialized agencies, in close coordination with the Russian Embassy in the United States continue to work actively for the establishment of all cases of Russian children to participate in such exchange programs. I want to emphasize once again that such projects with the Ministry of foreign Affairs was not consistent.
moreover, as it turns out, Russian children left for American educational initiatives not only in USA but also in other countries. Became, in particular, it is known that at least two students are now in Argentina and one in Costa Rica.
unfortunately, the American authorities from the very beginning has not provided our representatives proper assistance. This is despite the fact that we have formally required to provide comprehensive information about the number of Russian schoolchildren, their locations and host organizations.
the foreign Ministry already made a statement. Once again – urge the Russian school Supervisory bodies and parents to exercise the utmost vigilance. We cannot allow children exported abroad under all sorts of dubious educational programs and initiatives, the organizers of which do not take any responsibility for those who take on the education.
as a result predprin��th steps still managed to organize the return of a group of children from the United States home. As of may 21, those 28. The last of them export flight “Aeroflot” from new York may 15, arrived in Moscow 10 students.
At the time, as the foreign Ministry continues to evacuate compatriots, some people are already thinking about where to go on vacation. Aeroflot recently has not excluded, that already in the middle of summer may resume international flights. If the Russians are faced with some constraints? Will you prepare special recommendations for travelers?
Maria Zakharova: This question is primarily to relevant agencies: the Federal Tourism Agency, the transport Ministry and so on, but I want to draw attention once again to the words of the foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has clearly and precisely stated: there are no prerequisites for the introduction of any “exit documents”, “exit visas” in Russia and never will be.
with regard to the recommendations of the foreign Ministry, I think, is work for the future, and it will require consideration and understanding of the whole experience that has accumulated over the time of a pandemic. Now in the world the scientists, virologists, logisticians try to imagine how will look in international traffic under the new conditions. This is the preparation of airports, requirements for flights, medical insurance. Some countries are already talking about some epidemiological passports, which will have to be in possession of aliens at border crossings. All this is theory, attempts to analyze how the world will look like in the future.
Edition “the Russian newspaper” congratulates on being awarded the order of Honor of the official representative the Ministry of foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova, the Russian Ambassador to the UN in new York Vasily Nebenzia and Ambassador-at-large of the guardian Andrey Avetisyan.