Two planes carrying Russian officials and journalists who had accompanied President Vladimir Putin on a visit to Kyrgyzstan made emergency landings early Friday after a cockpit signal warned of a problem with the quality of their jet fuel.
Putin's plane was not affected and he arrived in Moscow on schedule Friday.
Russia's NTV television said the two Il-62 planes, together carrying more than 70 people, landed safely at Kazakhstan's Aktyubinsk airport around 2 a.m. The planes had been en route to Moscow from the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, where Putin wrapped up his visit late Thursday.
The crews on both planes decided to divert the flights to Kazakhstan after a signal in the cockpits indicated poor fuel quality, NTV and Russia's ITAR-Tass news agency reported. The fuel had been loaded into the planes at the Bishkek airport. Technicians were continuing to check the planes Friday.
Putin's office declined to comment on the reports.
ITAR-Tass said that a Tu-154 plane sent from Moscow would return the passengers to the Russian capital.
Associated Press, December 6, 2002