PARIS, France – Sweden, Finland and Denmark said they were preparing to close their airspace to Russian planes on Sunday joining a string of European countries taking this measure after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The moves follow similar closures of airspace of Britain, Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Romania to Russia’s aircraft. Baltic countries Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are also closing their airspace to Russian airlines, while Germany said it was preparing to do so.
Iceland has also decided to shut its airspace to Russian air traffic, Icelandic Foreign Minister Thordis Kolburn Gyfadottir tweeted on Sunday.
‘It is now absolutely necessary to proceed with further touch measures to isolate Russia’, Swedish EU Minister Hans Dahlgren told public service radio SR.
A European Union – wide ban for Russian flights could be part of a fresh package of sanctions on Moscow to be discussed later on Sunday by the bloc’s foreign ministers, an EU official said separately.
Dahlgren said such a ban would be the most efficient way to pressure Moscow.
Denmark would also support a cross – EU ban to Russia aircraft, Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said in a tweet.
Finish Minister of Transport and Communication Timo Harakka said in a sweet late on Saturday that Finland, which shares a long land border with Russia, was preparing a similar closure.
Russia’s likely countermeasure will heavily hurt Finlad’s state carrier Finnair.
‘If Russia in parallel closes its airspace from Finnish aircraft, it would have significant impact on Finnair as our Asian traffic would in practice come to a standstill’, Finnair spokeswoman told Reuters in an emailed statement on Sunday.