Brussels (CNN) — The European Union has blacklisted 21 certified Russian airlines, including national carrier Aeroflot, for “serious safety concerns”.
The move, which bars airlines from entering EU airspace, comes after Russia attempted to circumvent sanctions imposed following its invasion of Ukraine.
In doing so, the EU said Russia was deliberately allowing foreign planes to continue flying without meeting safety standards.
“The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency has authorized Russian airlines to operate hundreds of foreign-owned aircraft without valid certificates of airworthiness,” the European Commission said in a statement.
Announcing the ban, EU Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean said “the Russian airlines concerned have knowingly done so in violation of relevant international safety standards.”
”We do not mix security with politics”
But Vălean said the latest decision was purely an aviation safety issue.
“I want to make it perfectly clear that this decision is not another sanction against Russia; it was taken solely for technical and security reasons,” she said.
“We don’t mix security with politics,” Vălean stressed.
The EU added that “the situation will continue to be closely monitored in the coming weeks and months, and if necessary, further action may be taken.”
The full list of banned airlines
The commission said the following airlines are part of the ban:
• Ikar Airline
• Alrosa Airline
• Aurora Airlines
• Iraero Airlines
• Nordstar Airlines
• North wind
• Pobeda Airlines
• Rossiya Airlines
• Siberia Airlines
• Skol Airlines
• Smartavia Airlines
• Ural airlines
• Utar Aviation
• UVT Aero
• Yamal Airlines
Top image: A Russian Aeroflot plane. (Shutterstock).