Retaliating to the Ukraine-related sanctions targeting its aviation sector, Russia on Monday closed its airspace for a total of 36 countries including all 27 members of the European Union (EU).
Following prohibitory measures imposed upon it since its invasion of Ukraine, Rosaviatsia, Russia’s federal air transport agency named the countries on its list of nations to be restricted to use Russian airspace.
The closure of Russian airspace is expected to cause problems for airlines that fly over the country to get from Europe to Asia, who will be forced to find new routes.
However, Rosaviatisia added that flights from these countries could be allowed under exceptional circumstances given they obtained special clearances from the Russian aviation authority or foreign ministry.
The countries that have been included on the list are Albania, Anguilla, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, British Virgin Islands, Germany, Gibraltar, Hungary, Greece, Denmark, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Jersey, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Notably, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin called its invasion of Ukraine a “special operation” and justified it saying that the country was ruled by “neo-Nazis” and it posed a threat to Russia’s security.
Meanwhile, Kyiv and the western governments that have come in support f it have refuted Putin’s claims.