Russia faces near-total airspace ban to west after Putin invades Ukraine


Russian planes are now facing a near-total ban to the country’s west after several European countries blacked their airspaces for flights coming from Russia.

A report by BBC quoted an EU official saying that most EU countries were set to impose a complete ban on Russian planes entering their airspaces.

Many countries including Germany and Belgium have already announced blockades for Russian flights. There are reports that other EU states will join them soon.

Germany has announced a ban on Russian airlines for three months starting from Sunday. Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said that his country too will close its airspace to Russian aircraft. Finland, which shares an 800 mile (1,300km) border with Russia, too has banned its skies for Russian planes. Finland Transport Minister Timo Harakka tweeted, “Finland is preparing to close airspace from Russian air traffic.”

Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said that European skies were ‘open for those who connect people, not for those who seek to brutally aggress.’

The Netherlands has decided to close its skies from Sunday evening. Denmark’s Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod wrote on Twitter that his country would close its airspace and push for an EU-wide ban.

“Denmark will be closing its airspace for Russian aircraft. At today’s meeting of EU ministers of foreign affairs we will push for an EU-wide ban. #Russia’s unprovoked, despicable attack on #Ukraine must be met with strongest possible international sanctions & condemnation. #dkpol,” he tweeted.

The call for pan-EU ban for Russian planes has found support from Ireland and Austria.

Two of Russia’s biggest airlines, S7 and Aeroflot, have cancelled most of their flights until next month. S7 Airlines said it would cancel flights to many of its European destinations until at least 13 March, while Russia’s national carrier, Aeroflot, has decided to cancel its services to Latvia and Romania until at least 26 March, and its Prague and Warsaw routes until 28 March, reported the BBC.

Private jets from Russia also can no longer enter the airspaces of the Baltic states, Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovenia. The UK too has banned Russian planes to enter its skies, prompting Russia to ban British planes to enter its airspace.