The government closed Czech airports to Russian airlines


The Czech Republic will prevent Russian airlines from landing at airports at midnight airports. Transport Minister Martin Kupka (ODS) announced this on Friday. Poland has already taken an identical step. At the same time, the government decided to stop issuing visas to Russian citizens except for humanitarian causes and approved emergency humanitarian aid for Ukraine.

Kupka first announced the closure of the area. However, when questioned further, he replied that it was only a ban on landing at Czech airports. He said that the Czech Republic had not issued permits for non-scheduled flights for two days. From midnight on Saturday, the airspace will be closed entirely to Russian companies.

“This applies to all traffic landing and taking off from Czech airports. We are coordinating those steps with Poland,” Kupka said. Poland had already decided on the move hours earlier. Russian flights could pose some risk.

Russians will no longer get visas

The ministers also decided to stop issuing visas to Russian citizens from February 25, except for humanitarian causes. “Visas already granted will be screened,” said Interior Ministry chief Vít Rakušan (STAN).

They also approved humanitarian aid of CZK 300 million. “We have authorized the minister of industry and trade to provide Ukraine with the fuel it is asking for,” the prime minister also said.

The government also approved the possibility of the armed forces of NATO-allied countries to move around the territory of the Czech Republic. For example, the Czech Republic will provide an airport for refueling.

At the same time, the Czech army can also send up to 580 soldiers integrated into the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s Very Rapid Reaction Force anywhere on the alliance’s territory.

The cabinet also decided to move to the second level of the four-tier system of the interior ministry, depending on the intensity of assistance to potential refugees from Ukraine. The Czech Republic is now at the mildest green level, but Deputy Prime Minister Vít Rakušan (STAN) said on Thursday that he would submit a proposal to move to the orange level as a precaution. This includes measures to support 5,000 refugees.