Russia bans British airlines from its airspace

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British airlines have been banned from landing at Russia’s airports and from crossing its airspace, the Russian civil aviation regulator has said.

Russia said the move is a response to “the unfriendly decisions by the UK aviation authorities”.

On Thursday, the UK banned Russia’s national airline Aeroflot from landing in Britain.

The measure was part of sanctions introduced following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told ITV: “I think that’s their retaliation for us yesterday banning Aeroflot from using and landing in the United Kingdom. That’s their tit for tat response.”

Russia’s civil aviation authority Rosaviatsia said: “This measure was taken in accordance with the provisions of the Intergovernmental Air Services Agreement between Russia and the UK as a response to unfriendly decisions by the UK aviation authorities regarding the restriction on regular flights of aircraft owned, leased or operated by a person associated with Russia or registered in Russia.”

British Airways said in a statement it is notifying customers on cancelled services and will offer full refunds.

“We apologise for the inconvenience, but this is clearly a matter beyond our control,” the airline said.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely.”

British Airways normally operates three flights per week each way between London and Moscow.

Ukraine’s airspace closed on Thursday after Russian forces launched a military invasion of the country.

Moldova also said it was closing its airspace and Belarus shut part of its airspace on Thursday. (BBC)

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