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Moscow Bans British Airlines From Russian Airspace

Andrei Nikerichev / Moskva News Agency

Russia has closed its airspace to British airlines, including transit flights, it announced Friday after London banned Russian flag-carrier Aeroflot from its own airspace as part of sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) banned Russian airspace to any aircraft that is owned, leased, operated or registered in the United Kingdom after sending a proposal for consultations with Britain’s aviation authorities late Thursday.

“A negative response was received from U.K. colleagues this morning,” it said in a statement.

“That serves as the basis for Russia to take tit-for-tat measures,” Rosaviatsia added, saying the ban took effect at 11:00 a.m. Moscow time.

The agency said British airlines were scheduled to perform two London-Moscow flights and 70 transit flights through Russia on Friday.

Britain joined advanced economies Thursday in sanctioning Russia after President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" into Ukraine.

In addition to banning Aeroflot, London froze the U.K. assets of more than 100 Russian banking and arms manufacturing entities and sanctioned five oligarchs.

Russia has vowed “heavy” retaliation to British sanctions.

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