Government to close Irish airspace to Russia, reveals Coveney

Government to close Irish airspace to Russia, reveals Coveney

FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER Simon Coveney has revealed that Ireland will close its airspace to Russian aircraft.

Mr Coveney said this morning that plans were under way to implement the airspace ban and called on other EU countries to follow suit.

Coveney, who also serves as Defence Minister, said the move was in response to 'shocking Russian attacks' on Ukraine.

Russia began a large-scale invasion of its neighbouring country three days ago.

"Shocking Russian attacks on Ukraine overnight," Mr Coveney wrote on Twitter this morning.

"Ireland will move to shut off Irish Airspace to all Russian Aircraft.

"We encourage other EU partners to do the same.

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

The Department of Foreign Affairs has advised all citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Russia, citing the ongoing disruption to flight services to and from the country.

It adds that Irish citizens with plans to depart Russia should consider booking flights sooner than planned.

Other countries to have implemented curbs to Russian planes in their airspace include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Czechia and Britain.

Germany's Transport Ministry has also announced plans to follow suit.

BBC News has reported that Finland, which borders Russia, as well as Denmark and Austria are also planning to implement bans.