President Joe Biden banned Russian flights from US airspace following the escalating Russian invasion of Ukraine, the president announced Tuesday.
“Tonight I’m announcing that we will join our allies in closing off American airspace to all Russian flights” Biden said during State of the Union Address, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin “has no idea what’s coming.”
The move comes after the European Union and Canada also closed their respective airspace to Russian-owned and -operated aircraft.
The Russian aircraft ban comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Biden personally told him that the US nor NATO would not impose a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine, citing the risk that it could be seen as a declaration of war on Russia, which is a nuclear superpower.
“Our partners, if they are not ready to take Ukraine into NATO … because Russia does not want Ukraine to be in NATO, should work out common security guarantees for Ukraine,” Zelensky told Reuters and CNN.
The US and the European Union expand sanctions on Russia after the country attacked Ukraine last week. As the invasion enters its seventh day, Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to attack the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv as Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, was hit by Russian missiles.
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