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Russia shuts airspace to Switzerland, air transport agency says

On Monday, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs announced the suspension of direct flights between Russia and Switzerland

MOSCOW, March 1. /TASS/. Russia has imposed restrictions on flights performed by airlines from Switzerland, the Russian Federal Agency for Air Transport said.

"On February 28, 2022, in accordance with the rules of international law, as a response measure to Switzerland’s ban on flights of civil aircraft used by Russian airlines and/or registered in Russia, restrictions have been introduced on the flights of civil aircraft used and/or registered in Switzerland," the federal agency stated.

On Monday, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs announced the suspension of direct flights between Russia and Switzerland. The Swiss government declared on Monday its support for the sanctions imposed against Russia by the European Union.

Russia has shut its airspace to 36 countries as a retaliatory measure against countries that closed their airspace to Russian aircraft. Besides the UK, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Romania, Estonia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Poland, with whom airspace has already been closed, another 27 countries have been put on the renewed list, and among them are Germany, Spain, Italy, and France. Flights from these countries can be conducted upon special permission from the Russian Federal Agency for Air Transport or the Foreign Ministry.

On February 27, the foreign ministers of 27 countries who are members of the European Union endorsed the move to fully close the EU’s airspace to Russian aircraft.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address early on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories. Western nations have imposed sanctions in response, both personal and sectoral, targeting among other things Russia’s government debt and banking sector.