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Russia takes revenge on overflight restrictions

Russia takes revenge on overflight restrictions

In response to overflight restrictions on Russian airlines in Bulgaria, Poland and the Czech Republic, Russia has imposed sanctions on airlines in these three countries. “Due to the unfriendly decisions of the aviation authorities of Bulgaria, Poland and the Czech Republic,” Russia’s aviation authority Rosaviacia said on Saturday, “Russia is closing its airspace to airlines based in these countries.”

The measure went into effect at 3:00 pm (local time; 1:00 pm CET). The authority stressed that this would make it impossible for Polish, Bulgarian and Czech airlines to fly over Russia. However, in exceptional cases, a special permit may be granted.

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Poland, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria closed their respective airspaces to Russian airlines in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Saturday night. Hours earlier, the Polish airline LOT announced the suspension of its flights to Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Great Britain had already closed its airspace to Russian airline Aeroflot on Thursday. Moldova also banned Russian aircraft from its airspace on Thursday. In response to Britain’s restrictions, Russia closed its airspace to all British airlines or UK-based airlines on Friday. This also includes flying over Asia, for example.

In Austria, NEOS has demanded a ban on flying and landing of Russian aircraft in Austria. “Why do Aeroflot planes still land in Vienna?” asks NEOS Secretary General and Defense Spokesperson Douglas Hoyos in the direction of the federal government. “All sanctions work most effectively when they are far-reaching and comprehensive. It is simply unacceptable that our federal government does not use even such ‘light’ sanctions like flight and landing bans.”

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