Greece Extends Ban on Russian Aircraft From Flying Over Its Airspace Until End of June

The Greek Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport has announced the prohibition of Russian flights and other aircraft on its National Airspace.

According to a press release issued by the authority, the same notam applies to the Ukrainian airspace while Moldovan and Belarus civilian aircraft are also banned, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

“The aviation directive on the closure of Ukrainian airspace and the ban on the passage of civilian aircraft in the airspace of Moldova and Belarus also remains in force due to the high risk in these areas as a result of the war in Ukraine,” the press release reads.

This notam extension will be valid for another month, approximately until the end of June.

This is just one of the most recent restrictions that continue applying to Russia, as the Member States remain cautious on the matter. More specifically, Denmark and Sweden previously revealed they had summoned Russian ambassadors over a potential violation of their airspaces by Russian aircraft.

Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Koford said that a Russian aircraft entered the Danish airspace of the Bornholm Island – with him calling the act “unacceptable and particularly worrying in the current situation.”

Sweden, which earlier this month formally applied to join NATO with Finland altogether, also claimed that a Russian spy plane had crossed its airspace, which caused the Swedish Foreign Ministry to summon the Russian ambassador to Stockholm.

“There exist established procedures for this kind of case. It concerns notably summoning the representative of the implicated nation to the foreign ministry,” an email from the ministry reads.

>> Europe & Russia Ban Each Other’s Airlines From Flying on Their Airspace

These incidents mark the second time the Russian aircraft has been caught flying near NATO airspace. In 2020, a Russian fighter jet followed an American B-52 bomber over Denmark, which was also estimated as a “significant violation” of NATO airspace, with the incident also being reported near Bornholm Island.

The ongoing war in Ukraine has hit Europe hard, as the continent was coming out of a nearly-two-year long pandemic, which has left tourism, travel, and aviation industries particularly damaged.

As the European aviation organization (EUROCONTROL) previously revealed, the closure of Russian airspace to European flight operators has caused the flying time to extend significantly. For instance, the flying time between Helsinki and Tokyo has extended by almost five hours, while those between the Finnish capital and Beijing have increased by almost four hours. In addition, flights between Paris and Tokyo are almost three hours longer than prior to the war.

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