Germany to close airspace to Russian planes

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Lufthansa planes are pictured at Frankfurt Airport, Germany, February 22, 2010. REUTERS/Johannes Eisele

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BERLIN, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Germany on Saturday said it was preparing to shut its airspace to Russian planes, the latest European country to do so in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Separately, German flag carrier Lufthansa (LHAG.DE)said it cancelled all flights to Russiafor the coming week due to the "emerging regulatory situation."

Germany's Transport Ministry announced the measure in a tweet. "The Federal Minister Volker @Wissing supports the blocking of German airspace for Russian aircraft and has ordered everything to be prepared for this," the ministry said in its post.

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Lufthansa was in close contact with national and international authorities and would continue to monitor the situation closely, a company spokesperson said.

"Flights that are in Russian airspace will leave it again shortly," the spokesperson said.

Two Lufthansa flights between Germany and Asia on Saturday appeared to have turned back, returning to their departure airports, Reuters monitoring of flight-tracking service FlightRadar24 showed.

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Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Alison Williams and Leslie Adler

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