The geographic location of Russia is a natural competitive advantage of Russian airlines regarding the ascension of this country to WTO, general director of Aeroflot Valery Okulov said at the international conference on the national economic strategy and the ascension to WTO in Moscow today. According to him, the question on Russia's ascension to WTO is the question of the competitiveness of Russian companies. "We should get stronger in the environment of a hardest world competition", Okulov stated.
He pointed out that in addition to the advantage of the geographic location, Russian airlines should improve their service quality. "This is the only way to confront global world airline alliances", Aeroflot general director stressed. Additionally, Okulov said that only 20 percent of Russian airports conform to world standards to a certain extent. According to him, ground-based infrastructure of airports is another necessary condition for the competitiveness of Russian aviation.
Okulov pointed out that currently there was a serious problem regarding the technical condition of the Russian aircraft inventory. In connection with this, Aeroflot considers it necessary to permit imports of foreign planes of the regional class till Russia starts producing own planes of this type. This term is from three to five years. Okulov reported that current customs taxes for imports of foreign aircraft did not bring much to the budget. Additionally, they do not increase the competitiveness of Russian airlines and aircraft industry, Aeroflot general director pointed out.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club that Russia will never initiate military actions, including with the use of nuclear weapons
Representatives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation commented on the state of affairs in the Sea of Azov