SHARE
COPY LINK

UKRAINE

Sweden prepares to shut airspace to Russian planes

Sweden is preparing to quickly close Swedish airspace to Russian flights, Swedish EU Minister Hans Dahlgren said on Sunday.

Sweden prepares to shut airspace to Russian planes
The Russian presidential plane Iljuschin Il-96. More EU countries are moving to ban Russian aircraft from its airspace. (Photo by ALESSANDRO DELLA VALLE / POOL / AFP)

“It is now absolutely necessary to proceed with further tough measures to isolate Russia,” Dahlgren told public service radio SR.

The Minister said the most effective course of action would be for EU countries to make a joint decision.

Sweden will push for such a flight ban at a meeting of EU foreign ministers scheduled later today, which could form part of the latest package of sanctions against Russia.

READ ALSO: INTERVIEW: How could Russia’s war in Ukraine affect Sweden?

Many EU member states have already closed their airspaces to Russian aircraft, while a more concrete decision could soon follow.

“We want this to happen as quickly as possible and the best and fastest way is if we can get a common EU decision,” said Dahlgren.

“The background is, of course, that we want to go ahead with even more and sharper efforts to isolate Russia. One such effort is to close Swedish airspace and, better still, the whole of European airspace to Russian flights,” he went on to say.

“At the same time, preparations are underway in Sweden to be able to take a decision as quickly as possible that would ban Russian flights over Swedish territory.

“Some formalities are required, but it could be as quickly as a few hours or a day at the most,” he added.

Dahlgren is convinced that many countries will close their airspace.

“I think there will be a lot of support for this,” the EU Minister claimed.

Denmark, Germany and Italy on Sunday also said it would close their airspace to Russian planes, joining other European countries in ramping up sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

In addition, Finland, Britain, Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Romania are among the nations who have decided to shut off their airspaces to Russia’s aircraft.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

MILITARY

Sweden to send Archer artillery to Ukraine

Sweden will send its Archer artillery system as well as armoured vehicles and anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson promised on Thursday.

Sweden to send Archer artillery to Ukraine

Speaking at a press conference, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said his government had agreed on a three-part military support package for Kyiv, including “the first decision on starting deliveries of the artillery system Archer to Ukraine”.

Sweden, which has broken with its doctrine of not delivering weapons to a country at war, will also send 50 CV90 armoured vehicles and NLAW portable anti-tank missiles, the government said.

“Military support is decisive,” Kristersson said, as “it can change who retakes the initiative this winter” on the front in Ukraine.

The domestically developed Archer artillery system is composed of a fully automated howitzer mounted on an all-terrain vehicle, which allows the gun to be remotely operated by the crew sitting in the armoured cab.

EXPLAINED: These are the weapons Sweden is sending to Ukraine

Thursday’s decision meant the Swedish Armed Forces would be given the task to “make the preparations to begin delivery of the artillery system Archer to Ukraine”.

Defence Minister Pål Jonson said the government had also asked the armed forces to come back with a recommendation on how many of the Archers currently
in storage could be sent.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday urged Western allies to provide Kyiv with more heavy weapons.

The United States, Kyiv’s main backer, is convening a meeting on Friday of around 50 countries – including all 30 members of the NATO alliance – at the US-run Ramstein military base in Germany to discuss military aid to Ukraine.

Britain this weekend pledged 14 Challenger 2 tanks, making it the first Western country to supply heavy tanks.

The US has also promised to send its Bradley armoured fighting vehicles, while France has offered its highly mobile AMX-10 RCs – offensive systems long seen as off-limits by hesitant Western nations.

Pressure has also been mounting on Germany from European allies to authorise exports of its Leopard tank, which are used by several armed forces around the world.

Asked whether Sweden would be ready to send some of its Leopard tanks, Jonson told AFP on Monday the country had “no principle opposition against sending tanks to Ukraine” but that would not be part of its next package.

SHOW COMMENTS