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Russia Launches Low-Cost Flights To Annexed Crimea

A low-cost Russian airline has made its inaugural flight to Crimea as authorities seek to boost travel to the Ukrainian peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in March.

Dobrolet (Nice Flight), the budget airline of Russia's flagship carrier Aeroflot, will make four flights daily from Moscow to the main Crimean city of Simferopol.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev attended a ceremony at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport on June 10 to mark the airline's maiden flight to Simferopol.

One-way tickets in July were available for around 3,400 rubles ($98) on the company's website.

"Our budget carrier Dobrolet is a project of strategic importance not only for the Aeroflot group but for the whole country," Aeroflot Chief Executive Vitaly Savelyev said in a statement.

In March, Russia annexed Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, claiming it had to protect Russian speakers following the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in February.

With reporting by AFP
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