EU closes airspace to Russian air traffic
The EU is closing its airspace to Russian air traffic as part of a new set of measures against the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said this afternoon.
“We are shutting down the the EU airspace for Russians,” she said during a press conference. “We’re proposing a prohibition on all Russian-owned, Russian-registered, and Russian-controlled aircraft. These aircraft will no more be able to land in, take off, or overfly the territory of the European Union.”
Von der Leyen’s words echoed that of commission vice-president Josep Borrell who is holding today an extraordinary meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers to discuss a new set of sanctions against Putin’s regime.
“We want to do everything to support Ukraine” Borrell told journalists after the meeting. “We have decided to close the European Union’s airspace to Russian aircraft. Not a single Russian aircraft will be able to take off and land from European Union airfields.”
The EU’s decision to block Russian airlines from entering the continent come as more and more countries have – including Spain, France and Germany – have joined the ranks of countries who closed their airspace to Moscow’s aviation.
“France is shutting its airspace to all Russian aircraft and airlines from this evening on,” tweeted French transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, while the Spanish transport ministry said the decision made following the EU guidelines.
France and Spain’s words echoed those of several EU foreign ministers, including German transport minister Volker Wissing who said that “Putin will go down in history as a warmonger and aggressor.”
“After more than 75 years of peace, we are now at war again in Europe,” he tweeted. “As the federal government, we will stand by Ukraine and do everything we can to help people who are experiencing such suffering.”