Updated: Aeroflot cancels Euro flights after EU shuts airspace to Russian planes



Russian airline Aeroflot said on Sunday it would cancel all flights to European destinations until further notice.

The decision followed the closure of European airspace in protest at Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The European Union (EU) earlier announced the closure of its airspace to all Russian aircraft and private jets, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

“We are 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. This will apply to any plane,” von der Leyen said.

“Our airspace will be closed to every Russian plane. And that includes the private jets of oligarchs too,” she added.

The UK has also banned Russian private jets from its airspace on Friday.

Top EU diplomat Josep Borrell also announced a ban for Russian news outlets Russia Today and Sputnik.

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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 on its neck.”

And more than half of the central bank reserves of Russia will be blocked as part of new EU sanctions against the country, Borrell added.

Measures against neighboring country, Belarus will also be “reinforced,” Borrell said, in return for its role in “facilitating the Russian assault against Ukraine.”

Von der Leyen also announced that the EU will provide finance to purchase weapons for Ukraine, adding that this is the first time the bloc has ever done so.

Borrell said the EU is doing so “because this war requires our engagement in order to support the Ukrainian army.”

“We asked for SWIFT and we asked for arms and now we are delivering on both sides,” the diplomat remarked.

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