Russia bans liquid carry-ons for Sochi safety

MOSCOW — Attention, travelers to Russia. Olympic spectators, this means you. Russian aviation authorities announced Wednesday that as of now, no liquids, no matter how small the amount, can be carried onboard an airplane anywhere in the country.

The carry-on liquids have been banned as part of Olympic security measures and come after two suicide attacks in the city of Volgograd killed 34 people at the end of December. The main railway station and a trolley bus were bombed.

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“The threat of a terror attack on airplanes using improvised explosive devices remains,” Russia’s Federal Air Transportation Agency said in a statement Wednesday. “Aircraft are particularly vulnerable because they carry state registration numbers and markings of the Russian Federation.”

That means that, if you fly into Moscow or another city from outside the country and you transfer to a flight for Sochi or elsewhere, the liquids you carried on from the United States cannot stay with you. They must be checked.

Until now, Russia followed international procedures, allowing passengers to carry onboard liquids, aerosols or gels of 3.4 ounces or less.

On Tuesday, apparently without previous public notice, some airlines began enforcing the new ban, creating a confused outcry on Twitter. On Wednesday, some airports issued statements of their own, ending the confusion: From now on, no liquids on board.

Transportation officials said that liquid medicine and personal-care products essential to health could be allowed, but they would have to be inspected and cleared by airport security. No examples were offered of possible exceptions.

Television news reported that the ban on liquids would continue through the Olympics, which begin Feb. 7, and the Paralympics, which take place in March.

 
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