In his State of the Union speech from 1 March, US President Joe Biden addressed the on-going Ukraine-Russia war and, following the model of the European Union, announced the ban of Russian aircraft from US airspace.
Six days ago, Russia’s Vladimir Putin sought to shake the foundations of the free world thinking he could make it bend to his menacing ways. But he badly miscalculated.Joe Biden, USA President
The President announced that the US joins Canada and the European Union in banning all Russian flights, scheduled passenger flights, as well as cargo flights. Talking about the Russian President Vladimir Putin, Biden said that “He thought he could roll into Ukraine and the world would roll over. Instead, he met a wall of strength he never imagined. He met the Ukrainian people.” And in light of the premeditated and unprovoked attack, action needs to be taken to coerce Putin to cease the assault.
We are inflicting pain on Russia and supporting the people of Ukraine.Joe Biden, USA President
“The U.S. Department of Justice is assembling a dedicated task force to go after the crimes of Russian oligarchs. We are joining with our European allies to find and seize your yachts your luxury apartments your private jets. We are coming for your ill-begotten gains. And, tonight, I am announcing that 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.” President Biden said.
The administration was asked if it had been considering the move for several days before the address, to which Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, responded that the number of US flights that cross over Russia to go to Asia and other parts of the world influenced the decision.
Over the past few days, the State Department has been encouraging Americans in Russia to leave the country as soon as possible, before commercial flights shall no longer be available. Nevertheless, US officials have indicated alternative ways of exiting Russia, even after the ban on flights, such as certain train routes.