MOSCOW, January 8 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s state aviation watchdog has banned carry-on liquids for flights at all of the country’s airports ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi.
“The threat of a terror attack on aircraft with the use of home-produced explosives remains,” the Federal Air Transport Agency said in a statement Wednesday explaining the decision.
Two of Moscow’s international airports, Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo, said that they had already introduced the ban, which includes medicines and cosmetics, following the agency’s order, state-run Rossiya 24 television reported.
The agency said that medicines and personal care items considered essential to a passenger’s health would be exempt from the ban, provided they had been shown to airport security personnel and inspected.
The opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics takes place on February 7.
The watchdog did not specify whether the additional security measure was temporary. Rossiya 24 reported that the new rules would be in force until March 21, when the Olympic and Paralympic Games will have ended.
In a statement published Monday, Sheremetyevo airport said that the ban also covered gels, paint and glue.
Russia launched the largest security operation in Olympic history this week in a bid to deter terrorism, particularly from the neighboring North Caucasus which has been plagued by an Islamist insurgency.
Concerns have been heightened after two suicide bombers killed 34 people and injured more than 100 late last month, in the southern city of Volgograd, about 630 kilometers (400 miles) from Sochi.