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The measure is part of the commitment of these countries to the initiative to block the airspace of the entire European Union to Russian airlines, in response to the military operation deployed by Moscow in Ukraine since Friday.
Several countries in Europe have closed their airspace to Russian aviation, among them, Germany, Italy, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and Iceland, while Finland is preparing to do so, the corresponding aviation authorities informed today through a communiqué.
The measure is part of the commitment of these countries to the initiative to block the airspace of the entire European Union to Russian airlines, in response to the military operation deployed by Moscow in Ukraine since last 24th.
Similar decisions were previously applied by the United Kingdom, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Romania and Estonia, in the midst of a group of sanctions against Russia that will impact its economy and that of several airlines.
In response, the Kremlin has stated that it will apply mirror measures to a group of countries, local press reported.
Russia launched the military operation after the authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) People’s Republics requested assistance in repelling Kiev’s aggression.
Earlier, Moscow recognized the independence and sovereignty of both territories and signed treaties of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with these leaders, which included the establishment of diplomatic relations and military aid.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a televised speech, stated that the aim of the operation is to protect the population of Donbass from abuses and genocide by Kiev over the past eight years and to “demilitarize” Ukraine.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, their attacks are aimed at military infrastructure, air defense facilities, airfields and military aviation. It stresses that the civilian population of Ukraine is not threatened.
The Ukrainian government broke diplomatic relations with Moscow, decreed martial law in the country, demanded financial and humanitarian aid from the international community, while demanding sanctions to “isolate Russia by all means and formats”.
More countries are expected to join Europe in closing their airspace to Russian flights. If Moscow retaliates, air links between EU and Asia would be crippled as going around Russia’s airspace is not financially feasible pic.twitter.com/9dLDieYIME
The United States, Canada, Japan and the European Union decided to apply new sanctions on Russia due to the situation in Ukraine, targeting not only representatives of the Government, but also its banking, energy, air and space sectors.
Putin stated that Russia does not plan to occupy Ukrainian territories, but to defend the right of the Ukrainian peoples to self-determination.
He also reiterated that Moscow cannot allow Kiev to acquire nuclear weapons and further militarize itself, which is a danger to the country’s security. He stressed that NATO’s continued eastward expansion is unacceptable.