Moscow is closing its airspace following a decision by a number of European countries to ban Russian flights.
Russia said it was closing its airspace to flights from Bulgaria, Poland and the Czech Republic in tit-for-tat punitive measures following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Air carriers of these states and / or registered in them are subject to restrictions on flights to destinations on the territory of the Russian Federation, including transit flights through the airspace of the Russian Federation,” the federal air transport agency Rosaviation said on Saturday.
The measure is set to go into effect from 3pm local time.
Several countries, including Bulgaria, Poland and the Czech Republic, have closed their airspace to Russian carriers.
Meanwhile, Estonia, Latvia and Slovenia on Saturday also said they would ban Russian flights.
“We invite all EU countries to do the same,” Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas tweeted, adding, “There is no place for plans of the aggressor state in democratic skies.”
Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa quoted Kallas’ tweet saying, “Slovenia will do the same”.
Latvian Transport Minister Talis Linkaits also said on Twitter that “Latvia will close its airspace to Russian-registered airlines for commercial flights,” adding that the decision would be formally approved at the next cabinet meeting.
The United Kingdom has banned Russian flagship carrier Aeroflot from flying over the UK.
Russia on Thursday had announced the closure of its airspace for civilian flights on the western border with Ukraine and Belarus, while Ukraine closed its airspace to civilian flights and Europe’s aviation regulator also warned against the hazards of flying in areas bordering Russia and Belarus.
The moves came after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine days after recognizing two rebel-controlled areas of the eastern Donbas region as independent entities.