Poland and the Czech Republic are preparing to close their airspace to Russian airlines in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, according to reports Friday.
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the government in Warsaw was drawing up a resolution that would block Russian planes from operating in Poland’s airspace, according to a Reuters report.
Prague is also “considering” closing its airspace to some Russian air companies, Czech journalists and Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.
Russia's S7 airline responded by canceling all flights to Europe from Feb. 26 - Mar. 3.
Britain has already banned Russia’s Aeroflot from flying to the UK — a move which saw Russia retaliate with a tit-for-tat ban on British Airways and blocking British airlines from flying over Russian airspace in transit to Asia.
Moscow has promised to respond to any sanctions the West slaps on it as a result of President Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch a military offensive on Ukraine.
The moves could seriously restrict both European and Russian airlines' ability to fly across the continent as well as to the Middle East and Asia.
European airlines are already barred from flying over Belarus. Russian airlines are permanently blocked from operating in Ukrainian airspace, while the country’s airspace has completely shut down since the Russian invasion.