Czechs, Poland, Bulgaria close airspace to Russian flights

The ban will apply from midnight Friday and it applies to all Russian airline companies


The Czech Republic, Poland and Bulgaria each said Friday they would close their airspace to flights by Russian carriers in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, starting from midnight. 

Earlier Friday the Polish airline LOT had already halted flights to Moscow and Saint Petersburg. 

“As of midnight today, we are halting the traffic of all Russian airline companies in Czech airspace,” Czech Transport Minister Martin Kupka tweeted.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Facebook that Poland was also preparing such a resolution.

“The ban will apply from midnight,” Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller later said on Twitter.

A similar decision also came into force in Bulgaria at midnight (2200 GMT) over “the worsening military conflict and in solidarity with Ukraine.”

Russian aeroplanes “may no longer enter sovereign Bulgarian airspace, including over its territorial waters,” according to a ministry of Transport statement.

It follows the British government’s decision on Thursday to ban Russian flagship carrier Aeroflot from flying over the UK.

Moscow responded Friday by banning all UK-linked planes, including transiting flights, from Russian airspace.

Meanwhile, Moldova said Thursday it was closing its airspace, with all flights redirected to other airports, while Belarus said it was shutting “part” of its airspace. 

© Agence France-Presse

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