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Russia Suspends Certification Of Boeing 737s, Citing Safety Probe

The agency that oversees civil aviation in Russia in a surprise announcement says it is suspending the certification of Boeing 737 planes pending resolution of safety concerns.

About 200 Boeing 737s are being flown by Russian airlines at present, but there were no immediate signs the Interstate Aviation Commission's move on November 5 would disrupt air travel.

The S7 airline, one of Russia's largest, said it would continue to fly the plane.

The committee said the certifications are suspended until the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and its Russian counterpart, Rosaviatsia, give joint notice "supporting the safe operation" of 737s.

Russia's concern about 737s dates back to a 2013 crash of a Boeing 737 operated by Tatarstan Airlines that killed all 50 people on board.

The Moscow-based commission oversees civil aviation certification and use of airspace in countries of the former Soviet Union, and is involved in investigating accidents, but does not have the power to halt the use of planes.

Its announcement did not appear to be connected to the crash of a Metrojet plane over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula last weekend, which involved an Airbus 321. The Kremlin had no comment on the matter.

Based on reporting by AP, Interfax, and Reuters

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