From http://en.rian.ru/russia/20051128/42243215.html:

MOSCOW, November 28 (RIA Novosti) – The presidential IL-96 plane has everything necessary to guarantee the security and safety of the Russian president, the head of the presidential property management agency said.

“It is the responsibility of the Federal Guard Service,” Vladimir Kozhin told the Russian newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta. “They are professionals. They have an effective system that protects all our air assets both on land and in the air. When the threat level increases, they respond accordingly.”

He also denied the possibility that the president’s plane could be arrested abroad on the request of Swiss-based trading company Noga due to a long-standing legal dispute between the company and the Russian government over contractual obligations.

“Our planes have diplomatic immunity status,” Kozhin said.

He also said his department had completed the restructuring of the “Rossiya” (Russia) state-owned transportation company and prepared it for a merger with Pulkovo Airlines in about two months.

He said the new company would become a major Russian airline, and compete with existing airlines domestically and abroad. Its name will be determined on a contest basis.

A group of planes has been formed to transport Russia’s leadership and high-ranking officials.

“The special air group has about 30 aircraft,” Kozhin said. “Unfortunately, it has very few new aircraft, and includes two IL-96-300s, two Tu-214 planes, and modernized Mi-8 helicopters… The rest are reliable but outdated Il-62s, Tu-154Ms, Tu-134s and Yak-40s.”

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