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Biden: US Will Close American Airspace to All Russian Flights, Aircraft

© REUTERS / Regis DuvignauThe logo of Russia's flagship airline Aeroflot is seen on an Airbus A320-200 in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, September 26, 2017
The logo of Russia's flagship airline Aeroflot is seen on an Airbus A320-200 in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, September 26, 2017 - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.03.2022
As the US continues to pursue a pressure campaign against Russia over the situation in Ukraine, foreign policy is expected to be a major topic in US President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address at the US Capitol building at 9 p.m. ET. The 46th president of the US was expected to take a hard stance against Moscow while flexing NATO unity.
Russian flights will no longer be permitted in American air space as the US continues to take aggressive actions to counter Moscow's recent military actions in Ukraine, Biden announced during his SOTU.

“We will join our allies in closing off American air space to all Russian flights–further isolating Russia–and adding an additional squeeze–on their economy," he announced, touting losses in Russian stocks and a decline in value for the Russian ruble.

The US Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration have since specified that orders blocking Russian aircraft and airlines from entering and using American airspace will take effect by the end of Wednesday.
The directive applies to all aircraft owned, certified, operated, registered, chartered, leased, or controlled by (or for the benefit of) any Russian citizen. Passenger and cargo planes are among the flights prohibited, "effectively closing U.S. air space to all Russian commercial air carriers and other Russian civil aircraft," the memo detailed.
"He has no idea what's coming," Biden said of Putin, claiming the Russian economy is "reeling" due to Putin alone.
The US president clarified that American forces will not be engaging in armed conflict within Ukraine, as they are stationed in Europe to provide assistance to NATO allies. US forces would only take up arms if NATO allies were attacked by Russian forces pushing further west, Biden said.
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Biden also took time to publicly announce that the US and its allies have moved to release 60 million barrels of crude oil from the strategic petroleum reserves–with the US committing to 30 million barrels.
In an uncommon move, Biden's opening was heavily focused on foreign policy, including repeated praise of US allies and other strategic partners that have moved to place sanctions on Russia.

"Together, along with our allies, we are right now enforcing powerful economic sanctions," he said, highlighting the imposition of new restrictions on Russia by the European Union, the UK, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand.

The forthcoming US air space restrictions follow similar measures taken by European and Canadian authorities. The EU decision came amid a slew of other penalties against Russia, including the purchase and delivery of weapons to forces in Ukraine.
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Russia Restricts Flights of Airlines of 36 Countries in Response to Bans on Air Travels
"Our airspace will be closed to every Russian plane—and that includes the private jets of oligarchs," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Sunday.
Moscow responded to the move by announcing retaliatory airspace prohibitions against western-based air carriers earlier this week.
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