Russian Il-96 aircraft landed in Washington this week

Russian Il-96 aircraft landed in Washington this week

According to the Russian news agency TASS, an Il-96–300 aircraft with registration number RA-96018, issued almost 16 years ago, was used to transport Russian diplomats from Washington back to Moscow.

Representatives of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria commented on the reasons for the overseas voyage in the following way: “A number of media resources raised a fuss about the Russian flight bound for the United States. There is nothing secret. He will bring home Russian diplomats who were ordered by the US authorities to leave the country due to the end of their three-year stay.

During a June 27 press briefing, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller confirmed that a special flight from Russia had been arranged to bring Russian diplomats home. Regarding how many were on board, he said: “I'm not going to give exact numbers. The Russian Federation itself can announce the number of its diplomats. I would say that the diplomatic staff is regularly rotated when performing assignments. That's all that happened here.

Interestingly, the same plane flew from Washington to New York on June 27. The reasons why the plane flew to New York are not reported.

Used as “board number one”, that is, the main presidential aircraft, the Il-96 is capable of accommodating more than 260 passengers. It can fly up to 11,000 kilometers, making it suitable for long-haul flights.

After the beginning of the events in Ukraine, strict international sanctions were imposed on the Russian aviation industry. They effectively prevent aircraft registered in Russia from entering the airspace of the United States, Canada, Europe and a number of other countries.

However, according to the US Department of State, an aircraft with Russian jurisdiction was allowed to enter US airspace under these specific circumstances. Miller stated: “The US government has authorized the Russian government to send a charter flight to the United States to transport to Russia those Russian diplomats whose business trips have ended. And I will say that we support reciprocity with Russia regarding special transport missions for diplomatic personnel and cargo, and we observe diplomatic comity rules, as in this case.

He also added that “in exchange for the granting of these courtesies. The US government also expects that “Russia will retain the ability to use our transport to deliver diplomats and supplies to our embassy in Moscow.”

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