The United Kingdom has made it a criminal offense for Russian aircraft to enter British airspace as part of further sanctions against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced via Twitter on Tuesday.
When Russia’s invasion began on February 24, Britain initially banned any aircraft “owned, chartered or operated by a person connected with Russia, or which is registered in Russia.”
This latest move places the matter in the hands of the police rather than aviation authorities.
“We’ll be able to be more specific, for example where we have aircraft which might be connected with Russian oligarchs flying into the country, they should know … we can impound your aircraft and turn this into a criminal offense,” Shapps told Sky News on Wednesday.
The new law gives the government additional powers to detain Russian planes already present in the UK, according to an official press release.
New trade sanctions banning the export of aviation and space-related goods and technology to Russia were announced by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on Wednesday.
These include cancelling insurance policies in the sector and prohibiting UK insurers from paying claims.
Live updates: Russia invades Ukraine