“Italy is closing its airspace to Russia,” a government spokesman said in a brief statement, shortly after other European countries such as Germany, Sweden and Denmark announced similar measures.
The measure starts from 3pm Italy time on Sunday, Palazzo Chigi confirmed.
Italy joins other European countries in stepping up sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Luxembourg, Belgium and Poland have closed their airspace to Russian flights, forcing westbound Russian planes to make enormous diversions.
EXPLAINED: How Italy could be impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Swedish EU Minister Hans Dahlgren said that beyond individual European countries shutting off their airspace to Russian aircraft, closing the whole of European airspace is on the table.
EU leaders will meet again later today to discuss the latest package of sanctions against Russia.
Sidebar: The aircraft in the photo is a Russian made Ilyushin Il-96, which is an older aircraft mostly used in Cuba now.