Europe closes skies to Russian flights after Ukraine invasion – POLITICO

Russia has found itself almost completely cut off from European airspace after a growing number of European countries banned Russian airlines from their skies following Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine.

Belgium, Ireland and Iceland said on Sunday they were closing their airspace to Russian planes, while Sweden, Finland and Denmark said they were preparing to do so.

“Our European skies are open skies. They are open to those who connect people, not those who seek to brutally assault,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said. noted on Twitter on Sunday.

“It is now absolutely necessary to carry out further tactile measures to isolate Russia,” Swedish EU Minister Hans Dahlgren told public service radio SR.

A flight ban has already been introduced by the UK, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, the Baltic States, Romania and Bulgaria. Germany also said it supports the measure and is preparing to use it.

The bans mean that Russian planes will not be able to fly over or land in countries that introduce them. Planes will also have to fly routes around prohibited airspace in order to reach destinations not covered by the measure, which will delay flight time.

With Sunday’s decision from Helsinki, almost all countries on the EU’s eastern flank will close their skies to Russia, making it very difficult for Russian planes to enter the EU.

Russia has retaliated with similar measures against some of the countries that introduced the ban.

Some of the EU’s major airlines, including Germany’s Lufthansa, Holland’s KLM and Poland’s LOT, have canceled flights to Russia.

Ukraine also closed its airspace to all civilian flights on Thursday for security reasons.


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