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Canada and Europe move to close their skies to Russian aircraft

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Canada and Europe move to close their skies to Russian aircraft
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In addition to Britain, the Nordics and Baltic states, Germany and France also announced bans.

In a historic move, European nations and Canada closed their airspace to Russian aircraft on Sunday, pressing President Vladimir Putin to end his invasion of Ukraine, the largest attack on a European state since World War II.

As the airline industry struggles to recover from the effects of the global pandemic, Russia's jets are being banned.

In retaliation for the invasion, Germany and France joined Britain, the Nordics, and Baltic states in banning Russian airspace, a large step forward in the economic war against Putin waged by mostly NATO allies.

As the West, led by the United States, announced severe financial sanctions against Russia, which described its assault on Ukraine as a "special operation" to dismantle Kyiv's "junta", capture dangerous nationalists and destroy its military.

Currently, it is expected that Russia will retaliate against the air blockades and other sanctions, having already barred British, Bulgarian, and Polish airlines from its airspace following the earliest European ban.

Experts say carriers could end up diverting flights south in order to avoid conflict in the Middle East, which would add significant time and cost.

"France is shutting its airspace to all Russian aircraft and airlines from this evening on," A tweet from French Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari was echoed across continental Europe.

Germany's transport ministry announced earlier that it will close its airspace to Russian planes and airlines for three months, with the exception of humanitarian aid flights.

Also on Sunday, Canada announced it had closed its airspace to Russian aircraft immediately.

Air Canada mentioned that it "does not operate to destinations in either the Ukraine or Russia, and at all times, we comply with all airspace restrictions per Transport Canada and the FAA."

The Nordic countries Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland have also announced closures, following the examples set by Britain, Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Romania. Also, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are closing their airspace to Russian aircraft.

"It is now absolutely necessary to proceed with further touch measures to isolate Russia," Hans Dahlgren, the Swedish EU minister, spoke to public radio SR.

Timo Harakka, the Finnish minister of transport and communications, tweeted late on Saturday that Finland, which shares a long land border with Russia, was preparing a similar closure.

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TAGS:Canada Ukraine War 
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