Lufthansa announced on Wednesday that it will begin codesharing with the Russian airline alliance AiRUnion, which is made up of the carriers Domodedovo Airlines, KrasAir, Omskavia, Samara Airlines, and Sibaviatrans. The deal will help Lufthansa, which serves eight cities within Russia, create domestic connections. Likewise, the AiRUnion carriers will have access to Lufthansa's international network.
While the deal doesn't make AiRUnion a member of Star Alliance, of which Lufthansa is a founding member, it does move the Russian alliance closer to Star. AiRUnion already codeshares with Star carrier Austrian Airlines on the Moscow-Vienna and Krasnoyarsk-Vienna routes.
Novosibirsk-based S7 Airlines, Russia's number-two carrier, also announced a few weeks ago that it was in talks with British Airways to join the oneworld alliance. Aeroflot, the country's largest airline, is already a member of SkyTeam. So because there are three major airlines/groups in Russia (Aeroflot, S7, AiRUnion) and there are three major world airline alliances (SkyTeam, oneworld, Star), it would make sense that AiRUnion will probably become a Star member in the coming months.