Europe

Putin says no agreement yet on restoring air link to Egypt

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking during his annual call-in show in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, April 14, 2016. The Kremlin has been sifting through more than 1 million questions from across the country to get Putin ready for the television marathon. (Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking during his annual call-in show in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, April 14, 2016. The Kremlin has been sifting through more than 1 million questions from across the country to get Putin ready for the television marathon. (Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

President Vladimir Putin says Russian and Egyptian officials have so far failed to agree on security procedures needed to restore direct flights between the two countries.

Moscow halted the flights after the downing last October of a Russian passenger jet over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula that killed all 224 people on board. Russia says the plane was brought down by an explosive device, and a local branch of the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for planting it.

The crash and Russia's decision to cut the air link has dealt a severe blow to Egypt's vital tourism sector.

Putin said on Thursday that Russia and Egypt must agree on enhanced airport security checks to make it safe for the Russians to travel to Egypt.

There was no immediate comment from Cairo.