US follows Canada, Europe on Russian aircraft ban******
A Russian Aeroflot Airlines plane takes off from Los Angeles International Airport on February 22.
The United States will follow the European Union and Canada in banning Russian flights from its airspace, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday evening, in a move likely to trigger Russian retaliation.
United Airlines and United Parcel Service said on Tuesday they had suspended flying over Russian airspace, joining other major US carriers Delta Air Lines and American Airlines.
"I am announcing that we will join our allies in closing off American airspace to all Russian flights, further isolating Russia and adding an additional squeeze on their economy," Biden said in his State of the Union address.
The White House had held extensive talks with US airlines about the issue in recent days.
The ban will take effect by the end of Wednesday.
Russian flights were already effectively barred from US destinations for the most part in recent days because of bans on the use of Canadian and European airspace.
Some foreign governments had privately questioned why the United States did not move faster to ban Russian planes, as had some US lawmakers.
The European Union had said on Tuesday that it was speaking to US counterparts about extending the ban as it gave more details of the EU's closure of airspace to Russian aircraft imposed after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
Airlines already face potentially lengthy blockages of key east-west flight corridors after the EU and Moscow issued tit-for-tat airspace bans.
Global supply chains, already hit hard by the pandemic, will face increasing disruption and cost pressure from the closure of the skies which will affect over a fifth of air freight.
Hardest hit are likely to be Russian carriers, which make up approximately 70 percent of the flights between Russia and the EU.
Transport between Europe and North Asian destinations like Japan, South Korea and China is in the front line of disruption after reciprocal bans barred European carriers from flying over Siberia and prevented Russian airlines from flying to Europe.
Airlines responsible for moving around 20 percent of the world's air cargo are affected by those bans, Frederic Horst, managing director of Cargo Facts Consulting, told Reuters on Tuesday.
Germany's Lufthansa, Air France KLM, Finnair and Virgin Atlantic have already canceled North Asian cargo flights over closed access to airspace.
Scandinavian airline said it would re-route its once-weekly Copenhagen-Shanghai service to avoid Russian airspace, and had also paused its Copenhagen-Tokyo service.
Major Asian carriers like Korean Air Lines and Japan's ANA Holdings are still using Russian airspace, however, as are Middle Eastern airlines.
Russian airlines are also feeling the pinch with airline Pobeda, state airline Aeroflot's low-cost carrier, facing requests from a number of leasing companies to return their planes, the Interfax news agency reported.
Pure cargo carriers like Russia's AirBridgeCargo Airlines and Luxembourg's Cargolux are subject to the bans in a move that could send air freight rates – already elevated due to a lack of passenger capacity during the pandemic – soaring further.
"The flights become more expensive due to the longer routes," said Stefan Maichl, an analyst at Germany's Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg."百姓彩票官网
Chinese envoy calls for joint efforts to ensure safety of nuclear facilities in Ukraine******
This screen grab taken on March 4, 2022, from a footage of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear authority shows a wide view of the Ukrainian nuclear plant.
A Chinese envoy on Friday called on parties to the Ukraine conflict to act with caution and work together, with the assistance of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to ensure the safety of relevant nuclear facilities inside Ukraine.
China pays close attention to the latest developments in Ukraine and expresses its concern over the relevant reports about the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations.
According to information the IAEA received from the Ukrainian nuclear authority, the main equipment of the nuclear power plant remains intact, and the level of radiation unchanged. China also takes note of the information and clarification provided by Russia on the relevant matters, Zhang told a Security Council emergency meeting.
Noting the Ukraine crisis is still undergoing complex changes, he said the most important thing right now is to ease tension, avoid more civilian casualties, intensify diplomatic efforts, and get back as soon as possible to the track of political settlement.
Russia and Ukraine have held two rounds of direct dialogue and negotiations and have reached preliminary agreement on setting up humanitarian corridors. China welcomes this and hopes that it can facilitate better protection of civilians and help with the safe evacuation of all foreign nationals, including Chinese nationals, Zhang said.
"We encourage Russia and Ukraine to remain committed to the overall direction of political settlement, and reach a negotiated solution that accommodates the legitimate concerns of the two parties and contributes to Europe's lasting peace and security," he said.
China welcomes all diplomatic efforts conducive to a political settlement, and China has played and will continue to play a constructive role to this end.
The international community should stay cool-headed and rational, and adopt a responsible, impartial and objective attitude in order to create a sound atmosphere and conditions for direct negotiations between the parties concerned, said Zhang.
"Any action must contribute to de-escalation and diplomatic settlement, rather than adding fuel to fire, leading to further escalation and deterioration of the situation."彩神彩票官网