EU closes airspace to Russian planes and blocks state-backed media

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced on Twitter that the European Union will ban Russian state media from broadcasting in the EU, as well as ban Russian aircraft from flying in EU airspace.

Von der Leyen argues that RT and Sputnik — both state-backed Russian networks — along with their subsidies “will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war.” She also says the Commission is working on tools “to ban their toxic and harmful disinformation in Europe”, although there are still no details on what this might entail.

The EU will also no longer allow Russian aircraft, including private jets owned by oligarchs, to operate a number of flights in EU airspace that land in or travel through Europe. Several EU countries, including Germany, Spain, France, Denmark and Italy, had already blocked Russia from their airspace prior to this announcement.

It remains unclear how the EU will completely ban Russian networks, other than blocking cable networks and satellite television services from broadcasting them. RT and Sputnik both have active YouTube channels, and RT makes some of its episodes available on its website. YouTube has banned Russian state-backed channels from monetizing their content on the platform, but has only restricted access to their videos in Ukraine. Facebook is also targeting Russian networks by banning state media ads, while Twitter has completely cut ads in Russia and Ukraine.

In addition to imposing a number of sanctions on Russia after the unprovoked attack on Ukraine, the US and Europe announced plans to ban selected Russian banks from SWIFT, an international payment network, on Saturday night.

Frank Broholm had acquired considerable experience in writing and editing publications before recruited by The Media Today Chronicle News portal as Editorial Manager. His key task is to conduct effective business reviews based on the most recent business…