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Central Asian countries feel impact of sanctions against Russian aviation
9 March 2022
The impact of the sanctions on the Russian aviation sector is having far-reaching consequences for countries in Central Asia. Millions of people from Central Asia are in Russia as migrant workers and the disruption in aviation is making their travel back to their home countries difficult. Among them are 2.2 million Uzbeks who live and work in Russia. Remittances from Uzbek migrants in Russia constitute 12% of Uzbekistan's National GDP. Regular flights from Russia to Uzbekistan have been cancelled, Smartavia and iFly, two Russian carriers, have suspended all flights to Uzbekistan and flights that are still operating have more than doubled in price. As an aviation specialist for Uzbekistan said, “After the sanctions, not a single such aircraft landed on the territory of Uzbekistan. The reason is very simple - they remained uninsured.” Uninsured aircraft are prohibited from flying. Millions of migrants are now left without a crucial air bridge to their homeland. International sanctions on finance are already causing currency crises in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The impact of sanctions on the aviation sector further highlights the cost of Russian actions in the Central Asian region.