Russia closes airspace over Crimea and parts of Black Sea

Russia imposes temporary restrictions on flights over Crimea and the Black Sea, reports Interfax.

According to the Notice to Airman (NOTAM) issued by Russia, areas over the southern part of Crimea (from Sevastopol to Feodosia), areas adjacent to the southern coast of Crimea, and also some parts of international waters of the Black Sea have been declared “temporary dangerous”.

The restriction is in effect from April 20 to 24 and applies to flights at altitudes of up to 19,000 meters. Last week Russia announced that, from April 24 to October 31, it suspends the right of passage through Russian territorial waters for foreign warships and other ships in several areas of the Black Sea.

Earlier, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration warned airlines about the risks of passenger flights due to the escalation in the Donbas. The FAA said “tensions between Russia and Ukraine, could potentially result in no-notice cross-border skirmishes, increased military activities, and/or conflict”. The FAA issued two advisories (KIC A0012/21 and A0013/21) warning U.S. airlines to review their safety assessment and recommended that flights in airspace over the Russian-Ukrainian border be reported 72 hours in advance.

The agency urged the airlines to exercises extreme caution during flights over Dnipro (former Dnipropetrovsk), Simferopol, Kyiv, Moscow, Rostov-on-Don.

According to European data, Russia has amassed near the border with Ukraine an "unprecedented" number of troops - 150,000 people, said on Monday the head of EU diplomacy Josep Borrel.

Russia deployed four Project 775 (NATO classification - Ropucha) large landing ships to the Black Sea. They were joined by 15 ships of the Caspian flotilla.

"Imposing temporary restrictions in some air traffic sectors is a perfectly normal world practice," Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Russian president, said. These are standard notification systems and there is nothing special about it," he said, adding that the "element of tension" in the situation around the Donbas "has not disappeared yet."

  Crimea, Russia