Russian Air Travel Abroad Grew by 34% Last Year

In 2017, the number of Russian nationals flying abroad grew by almost one-third, Deputy Head of the FSBs Border Service, Colonel General Igor Shmotkin told TASS on Monday.

The interview marked his departments 100th anniversary.

“Last year, the volume of passenger traffic at airport border checkpoints grew by almost 34 percent,” Shmotkin pointed out, adding that Russians are increasingly traveling to new destinations.

If border checkpoints for cars, trains and ships are counted, “the number of foreign trips by Russian nationals grew 14 percent last year,” he added.

Last year, the number of Russians crossing the border in or out of the country was almost 20 million more than that of foreign nationals making in-and outbound trips. They crossed the border 64.8 million times last year, while Russian nationals traveled in and around the country 84.3 million times.

Russia under President Putin has made enormous progress, says Nicolai N. Petro, Silvia-Chandley Professor in Peace Studies and Nonviolence at the University of Rhode Island, in the US.

“Pensions have risen tenfold since 2000 […] the average life expectancy has increased by more than six years to 72.6. […] the government plans to raise the minimum wage to the living wage,” Petro pointed out.

The number of persons incarcerated in Russia fell by almost forty percent since 2001, and the number of minors in prison has fallen from 19 000 to just 1 000, after Vladimir Putin introduced key elements of modern criminal justice to Russia.

These include habeas corpus, a juvenile justice system, trial by jury, bailiffs, and justices of the peace.

Courts have strengthened the rights of defendants to exculpatory evidence, provided clearer guidelines on secrecy and closed judicial proceedings and pretrial detention centers have been all but eliminated.

Since 2014, the number of suits brought on behalf of foreign companies has tripled, while judgments in their favor have risen from fifty-nine to eighty-three percent of the total.

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