January 27, 2023

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Russia’s Aeroflot $50m Sponsorship Deal Frozen By Man-U, EU Imposes Ban on Russian Airlines

2 min read

The European Union has announced a ban on all flights of Russian registered commercial aeroplanes.

Making the announcement was the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who said, “we are shutting down EU airspace for Russian-owned, Russian-registered or Russian-controlled aircraft,” she said.

Ursula von der Leyen said further that the EU was also going to ban Russia’s state-owned news outlets Sputnik and Russia Today, widely seen as a mouthpiece for the Kremlin.

She said that “We are developing tools to ban their toxic and harmful disinformation in Europe.”
Ahead of the decision by the European Commission, some countries in Europe had earlier closed their airspaces to Russian airlines. One of such countries is Germany which had earlier announced a ban on all Russia registered airlines from flying over its airspace. Germany said its ban would in the initial last three months

L-R: Ukraine President, Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy. Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin

The Russian government in a swift reaction invoked the spirit of reciprocity and equally banned commercial aeroplanes from all the countries and regional blocks that banned airlines from Russia.

Moreover, in a major twist in the English football arena, the Old Trafford team has announced the cancellation of about a $50 million per annum sponsorship agreement with Russian flag carrier, Aeroflot.

Manchester United management {Premier League powerhouse} announced on Sunday that it was ending the deal early. If all things were equal, the deal was expected to be renegotiated next year, 2023.

European Union Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen

The Old Trafford team indicated that it ended the commercial partnership with Russia’s Aeroflot in the light of the extremist posture of the country as manifested in the aggression against Ukraine.

The Russian flag carrier Aeroflot had since 2013 retained Manchester United’s official carrier status.
However, in a swift twist occasioned by Russia’s belligerent conduct, Manchester United opted to use a different airline for its Champions League trip to Spain to trade tackles with Atletico Madrid this week.

In the same vein, satellite imagery taken on Sunday by a private U.S. company showed a large deployment of Russian ground troops moving in the direction of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, from approximately 64 km away.

The images released by Maxar Technologies showed a deployment that comprised of hundreds of military vehicles which extended more than 5 km.

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