EU closing airspace to Russian flights, financing weapons for Ukraine


The European Union announced that it would close its airspace to Russian flights and finance weapons for Ukraine in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of its neighbor. 

“We are shutting down the EU airspace for Russian-owned, Russian registered or Russian-controlled aircraft,” Ursula von der Leyen, who serves as president of the European Commission, announced on Sunday.

“They won’t be able to land in, take off or overfly the territory of the EU,” she added, noting that the ban included “the private jets of oligarchs.”

She also announced that the European Union would, for the first time, “finance the purchase and delivery of weapons and equipment to a country under attack.” This was in addition to banning “the Kremlin’s media machine” in the bloc. 

Canada also closed its airspace to Russian flights on Sunday. 

“Effective immediately, Canada’s airspace is closed to all Russian aircraft operators. We will hold Russia accountable for its unprovoked attacks against Ukraine,” Canada’s Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said.  

These decisions come after the U.S. and its allies kicked several Russian banks out of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) and vowed to impose measures that prevent the Russian Central Bank from using its reserves to undermine those sanctions.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield on Sunday told CNN that the Biden administration had not “taken anything off the table” in terms of sanctions, adding that “there’s more to come.” 

Tags Linda Thomas-Greenfield

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