Finland and Denmark will join the list of European countries that closed their airspace to Russian air traffic after the latter’s invasion of Ukraine.
Finland’s decision was confirmed by the Minister of Transport and Communications, Timo Haraka, who stressed that Finland is “preparing to close its airspace to Russian air traffic,” with which it shares a 1,300 km border, TheSchengen.com reports.
A similar countermeasure by Russia could cause serious damage to the state company Finnair.
A Finnair spokeswoman noted in this regard, as reported by Reuters: “If Russia in parallel closes its airspace from Finnish aircraft, this will have a significant impact on Finnair as Asian traffic will cease in practice.”
According to her, “going around Russian airspace extends flight times so much that it will not be financially viable to operate our Asian flights.”
Finland’s national airline operates flights between Europe and Asia that fly over its neighboring country Russia. However, at the moment, its services are limited due to entry restrictions imposed as a result of the Corona virus and its new strains by the authorities in Asia.
At the same time, Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod also announced that the country would close its airspace to Russian aircraft.
“At the meeting of EU foreign ministers today, we will push for an EU-wide ban,” Kofud noted.
Other European countries, including Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany and Poland, have closed their airspace to Russian flights, prompting Russian planes to make a large number of diversions.
The authorities in Moscow also took similar measures, as they prevented aircraft from these countries from flying over their country.
After months of escalating tensions, Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24, launching an invasion of Ukrainian territory by land, air and sea.
The attacks, recorded Thursday at 5 a.m. local time, were approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who described the invasion as a “special military operation”.
The situation in Ukraine has led its neighbors Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland to prepare to receive many refugees. Al Jazeera’s report showed that about five million people could leave Ukraine in a worst-case scenario.
Ukraine’s neighbors stressed their readiness to open their doors to the influx of migrants.
In addition, the European Union Asylum Agency (EUAA) also stressed its readiness to help receive asylum seekers, denouncing the unprovoked armed invasion of Ukraine.