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Shmyhal: Ukraine proposes allies to ban air transit to Russia, Belarus

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 5, 2024 3:58 PM 2 min read
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal during a visit to Vilnius, Lithuania, on April 5, 2024. (PM Denys Shmyhal/Telegram)
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Ukraine proposed to ban air transit to Russia and Belarus as part of the international sanctions policy, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said during his visit to Lithuania on April 5.

After Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, the EU and other countries banned Russian airlines or Russian-owned airplanes from using EU airspace, as well as prohibited the export of aviation-related technology.

The idea of banning air transit aims to limit the economic potential of Russia and increase sanctions pressure on the country, according to Shmyhal.

Lithuania imposed entry restrictions on Russian citizens in September 2022 as part of a joint agreement with Latvia, Estonia, and Poland. Czechia imposed similar restrictions in October 2022.

Shmyhal arrived in Vilnius earlier on April 5 following his visits to the two other Baltic countries, Estonia and Latvia, previously this week.

The prime minister met his Lithuanian counterpart, Ingrida Simonyte, and the country's President Gitanas Nauseda.

"We look forward to continuing fruitful cooperation in the defense sector. We also talked about sanctions and the confiscation of Russian assets, humanitarian aid, and Ukraine's EU and NATO integration," Shmyhal said after meeting Nauseda.

Vilnius has been one of Kyiv's staunchest supporters against Russian aggression. According to the Kiel Institute of the World Economy, Lithuania's defense contributions to Ukraine are one of the highest in the world in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) shares.

Earlier this year, Lithuania pledged a long-term 200 million euro (roughly $215 million) support package to Ukraine and promised to continue supporting the country.

Lithuania to purchase 3,000 drones for Ukraine
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