China bans Russian airlines from entering its airspace

China bans Russian airlines from entering its airspace

 The ban was introduced by China with the aim of securing its country from the ripple effects of Western sanctions against Moscow. The heat of sanctions imposed on Moscow has made the Chinese government worried that its country will be affected by similar sanctions if it does not limit bilateral relations with Russia. "Beijing has avoided steps it might see as helping Moscow out of fear of possible penalties against Chinese companies," a Chinese government spokesman said. 

With the new policy, Russian airlines using foreign-owned aircraft will be prohibited from crossing or stopping in China's territory. Reporting from Business Insider, this ban comes after doubts over the ownership status of Russian airline aircraft. Where at the end of February it was Putin who allowed planes in his country to be re-registered on behalf of Russia in order to avoid Western confiscation sanctions. This action follows regulations from the European Union regarding the prohibition of the sale or lease of aircraft to Russian airlines. Putin's changes to the data have created confusion over the airline's status. This is what makes the Chinese government take safe steps by banning Russian airlines from entering its airspace. 

Prior to imposing the ban in May, President Xi Jinping and China's air regulators had asked all foreign airlines to update their proprietary information and other details, including Russian-owned airlines. However, until the ban was issued, Russian airlines had not reported documents showing their planes were not registered abroad. Not all member states of the European Union agreed to impose various sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. According to the Daily Mail, Germany and Italy are two of several countries trying to prevent more sanctions from being imposed on Russia, in order to protect their own economies. In fact, there is pressure from Poland and the Baltic countries bordering Russia.

 Russia's president claims the West's quest for global dominance is coming to an end as he denounces EU sanctions. Putin said the EU "didn't want a strong and sovereign Russia". Now, the EU is starting to split into three. Germany - with support from Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria and Greece - is seen as blatantly putting the brakes on sanctions against Russia. This comes as the pro-sanctions countries, led by Poland and the Baltic states, push for further restrictions on Russia and the oligarchs. Internal strife within the EU is now raging between 'Sanctionistas', pro-sanctions countries, and 'Contras', countries that prioritize their own economies.

 An EU diplomat told The Times:
"It is becoming clearer by the day that three parties are forming: Poland and the Baltic states, known as the Sanctionistas who want more and stronger sanctions." "Germany, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria — the Contras — who prioritized their own economic interests; and the rest, the 'neutral' countries." The European Union issued the fourth round of sanctions on Tuesday (15/3/2022). But Germany is known to be in meetings with at least three other governments to discuss halting further action. Contras have suggested that the EU should focus on 'closing the gap' rather than imposing further sanctions. 

Poland meanwhile, was furious that the sanctions agreed earlier this week did not include metal oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Deripaska was not sanctioned because of the potential impact on aluminum production in Germany and other countries. Berlin has also secured transactions it says are 'critically important' to buy, import and transport a variety of metals including titanium, aluminum and copper. The agreement, however, has caused disillusionment among the Sanctionista states on the borders with Russia and Ukraine. Currently, the bombing of Ukrainian cities continues despite US officials estimating that at least 7,000 Russian soldiers have died in the fighting and another 14,000 to 21,000 injured.

 Kyiv was hit by a missile in the early hours of Thursday, debris from the rocket that was shot down hitting a 16-story apartment block and killing one person. Mariupol, a beleaguered city in southern Ukraine, is also under constant threat as city officials estimate that at least 2,400 people have now died there. Even so, the mayor's adviser Petro Andriushchenko said the real toll could be as high as 20,000 when the search for survivors is really underway. Andriushchenko's calculations were even before a theater in the city housing up to 1,200 civilians was hit and destroyed by Russian forces late Wednesday. President Volodymyr Zelensky called the attack "heartbreaking", while Joe Biden branded Putin a "war criminal". 

The death toll from the attack is unclear. But City officials said early Thursday that an evacuation was underway. It was unclear how many people were inside at the time. Despite the rising death toll, peace talks between the two sides have continued. Concrete proposals for a ceasefire are being discussed. Russian negotiators briefed reporters on their 15-point plan for peace, which would see Ukraine declare neutrality and limit its armed forces in exchange for Russia's withdrawal. However, Ukraine's chief negotiator Mikhailo Podolyak is not interested in the plan.
He only said that the two sides had discussed it but did not consider Kyiv's negotiating position. The proposal does not mention Crimea and the Donbass - territories of Ukraine occupied by Russia before the invasion. 

President Zelensky later reiterated that his country's territorial integrity is not up for negotiation. The United States has said it imposed tough economic sanctions on Russia in response to President Vladimir Putin's attacks on Ukraine. The US sanctions aim to cripple Russia's economy, its financial institutions and its access to technology. "Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will suffer the consequences," US President Joe Biden said at the White House on Thursday (24/2/2022). Russia's stock market fell to its lowest level in four and a half years on Thursday, and its currency, the ruble, hit a record low versus the greenback. 

Now, more stringent measures are being used to depress the Russian economy, stunt its growth, increase borrowing costs, increase inflation and intensify capital outflows. The Biden administration said in a statement that the sanctions targeted all 10 of Russia's largest financial institutions and imposed export control measures that would more than halve Russia's high-tech imports. The moves include cutting Russia's biggest bank from the US financial system and imposing sanctions on Russia's second-largest bank, and freezing its assets that touch the US financial system. Sanctions against Russia's main financial entities include the imposition of "complete blocking and sanctions of correspondent and debt accounts, and debt and equity restrictions, on institutions that hold nearly 80 percent of Russia's banking sector assets", the White House said.

 "The scale of Putin's aggression and the threat it poses to the international order require a firm response, and we will continue to impose heavy costs if he does not change course," the Biden administration added in a statement. Meanwhile, the US praised Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan and the UK for agreeing to take equally strong action against Russia.

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