Russia Blocks Flights over Black Sea and Crimea Amid Deepening Ukraine Tensions

Russia has temporarily blocked flights over parts of Crimea and the Black Sea while conducting naval drills in the area.

The notice to airmen (NOTAM) said that territorial waters off the southern coast of Crimea and parts of international waters off of the Black Sea were closed off to flights from April 20-24.

“The area has been declared temporarily dangerous for aircraft flights,” said the NOTAM.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu explained earlier that Russia “is taking measures in response to threats from NATO.”

Aside from the airspace Russia also closed off the Black Sea from April 24 to Oct. 31.

Minister Sergey Ryabkov clarified that the limitations are valid only for warships, not for civilian vessels.

Currently, there are 20 warships and Sukhoi Su-25 attack aircraft conducting drills in the area.

The US State Department qualified Russia’s move as “an escalation” and advised airlines to avoid going over the area.

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