The EU is closing its airspace to Russian air traffic as part of a new package of measures against the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said this afternoon. .
“We are closing EU airspace to the Russians,” she told a news conference. “We are proposing a ban on all Russian-owned, Russian-registered and Russian-controlled aircraft. These planes will no longer be able to land, take off or fly over the territory of the European Union.
Von der Leyen’s words echoed those of commission deputy chairman Josep Borrell, who is holding an extraordinary meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers today to discuss a new set of sanctions against the regime. Putin.
“We want to do everything to support Ukraine,” Borrell told reporters after the meeting. “We have decided to close the airspace of the European Union to Russian planes. Not a single Russian plane will be able to take off and land from airfields in the European Union.
The EU’s decision to block Russian airlines from entering the continent comes as more countries – including Spain, France and Germany – have joined the ranks of countries that have shut down their airspace to the Moscow Air Force.
“France is closing its airspace to all Russian planes and airlines from tonight,” French Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari tweeted, while Spain’s Transport Ministry said the decision was made in accordance. to EU directives.
The remarks from France and Spain 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 an aggressor”.
“After more than 75 years of peace, we are at war again in Europe,” he tweeted. “As a federal government, we will stand with Ukraine and do all we can to help people who are going through such suffering.”