Aeroflot plane
Aeroflot planeiStock

The US government is expected to announce a ban on Russian flights from American airspace as soon as Wednesday, government and industry officials told Reuters on Tuesday.

The White House declined to comment, but had been holding extensive talks with US airlines in recent days on the issue.

Earlier in the day, United Airlines said it has temporarily suspended flying over Russian airspace, joining other major US carriers who have taken the step after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The West has imposed a series of sanctions on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine, including closing much of Europe’s airspace to civilian Russian aircraft.

On Sunday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the European Union is poised to bar all Russian aircraft from entering the airspace of all 27 member states.

On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged the West to take things even further and impose a no-fly zone for Russian flights over Ukraine.

The White House reacted coolly to Zelensky’s proposal, with White House press secretary Jen Psaki telling reporters that US participation in such a move would be tantamount to a direct conflict with Moscow.

"A no-fly zone would require implementation," she said, adding it would require "deploying US military to enforce, which would be ... potentially a direct conflict, and potentially a war with Russia, which is something we are not planning to be a part of."

Asked separately about a no-fly zone for Russian flights over the United States, Psaki said nothing was off the table, but noted that many US airlines fly over Russia to get to Asia and other parts of the world.