Russian airlines banned from EU airspace as bloc funds supply of Ukrainian weapons

Sanctions on the Kremlin as well as a ban on pro-Kremlin media outlets to be introduced

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The European Union’s chief executive has said the 27-nation bloc will close its airspace to Russian airlines, fund supplies of weapons to Ukraine and ban some pro-Kremlin media outlets in response to Russia’s invasion.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said that “for the first time ever, the European Union will finance the purchase and delivery of weapons and other equipment to a country that is under attack”.

Ms von der Leyen added that “we are shutting down the EU airspace for Russians. We are proposing a prohibition on all Russian-owned, Russian-registered or Russian-controlled aircraft. These aircraft will no more be able to land in, take off or overfly the territory of the EU”.

She also said the EU will ban “the Kremlin’s media machine. The state-owned Russia Today and Sputnik, as well as their subsidiaries, will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war and to sow division in our union”.

Ms von der Leyen added that the EU will also target Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko for supporting Russia’s widespread military campaign in Ukraine.

“We will hit Lukashenko’s regime with a new package of sanctions,” she said.