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Europe, Canada Close Airspace to Russian Planes

Russian planes Europe
Russian planes are now banned from European and Canadian skies. Credit: Dmitry Zherdin, CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikpedia

Countries in Europe and Canada have announced they have closed their airspace for Russian planes in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Officials for Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria and Iceland all announced the measures that would further isolate Russia.

It follows similar restrictions from the U.K., Poland, Romania, Finland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

A ban means Russian aircraft can’t fly over or land in the nations that impose the rules, which often means lengthy and very costly reroutes.

Late on Sunday Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, announced that all EU countries agreed to close their airspace to Russian planes.

Earlier, Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said on Twitter his government is pushing for a European Union-wide ban of Russian flights at a meeting of the bloc’s ministers of foreign affairs.

“We will hold Russia accountable for its unprovoked attacks against Ukraine,” Canada’s Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, said in a tweet.

Russia to ban planes from Europe

In response to the nations banding together, Russia has said it would ban flights from several nations that had introduced their own measures. Russia’s S7 airline is also suspending many of its flights to European countries until mid-March.

EU bans Russian news outlets

The European Union has banned Russian news outlets Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik, according to its top diplomat, Josep Borrell.

Speaking in a joint news conference in Brussels on Sunday, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy announced that the bloc would ban the two outlets in a bid “to fight” Russian disinformation.

“Today we are taking a crucial step to turn off the tap for the Russian’s information manipulation in Europe by banning Russia Today and Sputnik from broadcasting in the European Union,” Borrell said.

“We are killing the snake at its neck,” the diplomat continued.

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