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The UK Government has made the entry of Russian carriers into its airspace a criminal offence as part of its sanctions on Russia’s aviation sector.

The UK will now have the power to detain Russian planes that enter or land within its borders.

This will apply to planes that are owned, run or chartered by anyone associated with Russia or designated individuals or entities.

In addition, the government will remove planes owned by designated Russian individuals and entities from its aircraft register.

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “Banning Russian flagged planes from the UK and making it a criminal offence to fly them will inflict more economic pain on Russia and those close to the Kremlin.

“We will continue to support Ukraine diplomatically, economically and defensively in the face of Putin’s illegal invasion, and work to isolate Russia on the international stage.”

Under the new legislation, the government has also suspended exports of aviation or space-related items and technology to Russia.

The legislation also includes insurance and reinsurance services.

As a result, cover has been withdrawn on existing policies and UK insurers and reinsurers will not be able to pay claims concerning existing policies in these sectors.

All these measures are aimed at increasing economic pressure on Russia to hinder its military strategy.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Putin must fail and so we were one of the first countries to ban Russian aircraft, and today, we are going even further by making it a criminal offence for Russian aircraft to operate in UK airspace.

“We will always work to deny Putin and his cronies the right to continue as normal while innocent Ukrainians suffer.”

On 3 March, US-based airline United Airlines suspended the use of Russian airspace, as well as Russian flights on two routes between the US and India.