Ireland to close off airspace to Russian planes

Ireland To Close Off Airspace To Russian Planes
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney confirmed this morning that Ireland will shut off its airspace to Russian planes. Photo: PA
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By Dominic McGrath, PA

Ireland will close off its airspace to all Russian aircraft as the invasion of Ukraine continues.

On Sunday morning, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney confirmed that Ireland will move to shut off the country’s airspace to Russian planes.


He tweeted: “Shocking Russian attacks on Ukraine overnight. Ireland will move to shut off Irish airspace to all Russian aircraft.”

Mr Coveney also called on other European Union countries to do the same.

Various European countries – including the Czech Republic, Slovenia and the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – have already decided to close their airspace to Russian airlines.


The UK has made a similar decision.

“We encourage other EU partners to do the same,” Mr Coveney said.

“We also support new wide-ranging sanctions to be agreed today at EU FAC [Foreign Affairs Council] & new assistance package for Ukraine.”

Overnight, Russian troops entered Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv and fighting is under way in the streets, according to Ukrainian authorities.


It comes as the US, European Union and UK have agreed to block “selected” Russian banks from the Swift global financial messaging system in retaliation for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Restrictive measures” will also be imposed on Russia’s central bank.

Thomas Byrne, Minister of State for European affairs, tweeted late on Saturday that he was “relieved” a decision on Swift had been agreed.

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The Department of Foreign Affairs has told citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Russia.

In an update to travel guidance, the department said: “Due to the ongoing disruption to flight services to and from Russia, the Department of Foreign Affairs is advising citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Russia at this time.

“Further flight cancellations and uncertainty on travel routes from Russia are expected in the coming days.”

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