Citing an unprovoked, premeditated attack against a sovereign democratic state by Russia, British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced a new order issued after the United Kingdom completely closed its skies to all Russian flights.
Under a new order, all and any Russian aircraft would be hit with criminal penalties and could be detained should it violate UK airspace and fly over Britain.
“I have made it a criminal offence for ANY Russian aircraft to enter UK airspace and now [Her Majesty’s Government] can detain these jets,” Shapps said in a tweet, vowing to “suffocate Putin’s cronies’ ability to continue living as normal while thousands of innocent people die.”
While the UK already closed its airspace to Russian flights in late February, London’s most recent announcement states that “non-compliance” with that order “may give rise to a criminal offense” for crews, while hinting at “unprecedented package of further sanctions” in the future.
The UK has joined a long list of Western nations and allies that have closed their airspace to Russian flights, each in retaliation to Moscow’s brutal full-scale attack on Ukraine late last month.
Ukraine and most of the civilized world have condemned Russian aggression against the pro-Western neighbor country as “unprovoked.”
The UK has also banned the export of aviation and space-related products and technology, including technical assistance, to Russia, the Foreign Office announced on Wednesday.
In addition, British insurers will be prohibited from providing services to Russian companies working in these two spheres, British authorities said. The Foreign Office is also canceling the coverage of existing insurance policies, which means that UK insurers will not be able to pay compensation under previously signed contracts with Russian firms.
The new measures are aimed to “further tighten the growing economic pressure on Russia and ensures the UK is in line with sanctions imposed by our allies.”
“Banning Russian flagged planes from the UK and making it a criminal offence to fly them will inflict more economic pain on Russia and those close to the Kremlin. We will continue to support Ukraine diplomatically, economically and defensively in the face of Putin’s illegal invasion, and work to isolate Russia on the international stage,” British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said.