BERLIN, February 27 (TASS) - The European Union member states will close their airspace for Russian planes, the ARD television reported on Saturday citing own sources.

The channel did not specify when the ban will be imposed. The following countries have already closed their airspace for Russian aircraft: the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Latvia, Lilthuania and Estonia.

Earlier, Germany’s largest air carrier Lufthansa said it was cancelling flights to Russia and will refrain from using its airspace for transit during the next seven-day period.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories. Its objectives are demilitarization and denazification of the country.