With widebody Il-96, Russian Chancellor Sergei Lavrov starts tour in Latin America

Putin’s Foreign Minister arrived in Brazil on Monday after flying from Moscow with a stopover in Casablanca

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Brazil on Monday, April 17 as part of a visit to countries in Latin America. To carry out his agenda, Putin’s Minister of Foreign Affairs uses a Rossiya airline Il-96-300 widebody jet.

The four-engine PS-90 aircraft registration RA-96023 is part of the Russian government’s Special Flight Detachment and was delivered in 2017.

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Lavrov’s flight to Brasilia departed from Moscow on Sunday and made a stopover in Casablanca, Morocco, before crossing the South Atlantic to Brazil. Information about times and flight details has not been released by ADS-B tracking websites for security reasons.

Lavrov disembarked from the Il-96 dressed in casual clothes, which surprised observers. According to the state news agency TASS, the chancellor will visit “several countries” in Latin America, among them Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, which are close to the government of Vladimir Putin.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arriving in Brazil on April 17 (MFA)

“The talks are planned to focus on issues of strengthening the legal framework of the present-day world, which is based on the United Nations Charter,” the ministry said. “Latin America is a friendly region, one of the centers of the formation of a multipolar world and Russia plans to maintain a dynamic dialogue with it, develop constructive cooperation free from any dictation from outside”.

Rare russian widebody

The Il-96 is an improved variant of the Il-86, the first widebody developed in the Soviet Union. The aircraft improved the autonomy and comfort of its predecessor, but had a restricted production of around 30 units.

IL-96-400M assembly (UAC)

With trade sanctions from the West and the slow progress of the CR929 program, in partnership with China, Russia has been trying to find a way to resume production of the Il-96, which is currently a completely outdated model.

There are two options in sight, the first one is to continue with the assembly of the Il-96-400M, a version with greater capacity and with modern avionics, but the same engine restrictions, or to start building a twin-engine jet, taking advantage of the development of the new PD-35 turbofan.

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