LONDON — The tally of nations banning Russian aircraft from flying into and over their airspace grew on Sunday to include the entire European Union, amid a coordinated pushback against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“They won’t be able to land in, take off or overfly the territory of the EU,” she wrote on Twitter.
Ahead of the announcement, Germany said it would ban Russian aircraft and flight operators starting at 3 p.m. local time Sunday. It joined Italy, Norway, France, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain and North Macedonia, which indicated on Sunday that they would move to close their airspace to Russian flights. Other countries, including Estonia and Romania, had previously announced their intention to ban Russian flights.
A ban on Russian flights throughout the E.U. would largely cut off Russia from the easiest air route west, while countermeasures imposed by Moscow could make it more difficult for European carriers to fly east, notably to Asia.
“Our European skies are open skies,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo wrote on Twitter. “They’re open for those who connect people, not for those who seek to brutally aggress.”
Also on Sunday, Canada’s minister of transport, Omar Alghabra, said: “Effective immediately, Canada’s airspace is closed to all Russian aircraft operators. We will hold Russia accountable for its unprovoked attacks against Ukraine.”
Russia has so far retaliated by banning flights from at least nine countries. In various statements, the country’s Federal Agency for Air Transport called the moves by countries such as the United Kingdom and Romania to ban Russian flights “unfriendly.”
The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure said in a notice that its ban is set to last at least three months, during which most Russian flights and flight operators will be barred from German airspace, with some exceptions, including flights carrying humanitarian aid.
While many of Ukraine’s allies have moved to ban Russian flights from their own airspace, there appears to be little appetite for a no-fly zone over the country, a measure previously requested by Ukrainian officials. When asked about it on Friday, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said enforcing a no-fly zone would mean putting British pilots in the line of fire and would be tantamount to a declaration of war.
“To do a no-fly zone I would have to put British fighter jets directly against Russian fighter jets,” Wallace told the BBC. “NATO would have to effectively declare war on Russia.”
Firozi reported from Washington. Emily Rauhala contributed to this report.
War in Ukraine: What you need to know
The latest: Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “partial mobilization” of troops in an address to the nation on Sept. 21, framing the move as an attempt to defend Russian sovereignty against a West that seeks to use Ukraine as a tool to “divide and destroy Russia.” Follow our live updates here.
The fight: A successful Ukrainian counteroffensive has forced a major Russian retreat in the northeastern Kharkiv region in recent days, as troops fled cities and villages they had occupied since the early days of the war and abandoned large amounts of military equipment.
Annexation referendums: Staged referendums, which would be illegal under international law, are set to take place from Sept. 23 to 27 in the breakaway Luhansk and Donetsk regions of eastern Ukraine, according to Russian news agencies. Another staged referendum will be held by the Moscow-appointed administration in Kherson starting Friday.
Photos: Washington Post photographers have been on the ground from the beginning of the war — here’s some of their most powerful work.