According to a media report, China is blocking its airspace for Russian Boeing and Airbus aircraft. The ban affects machines whose legal status has not been clarified after western sanctions and the re-registration in Russia, the Russian news agency RBK reported on Friday. China has asked Russian airlines for proof that the planes are no longer registered abroad.

The background is the western sanctions after the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. The EU and US have banned the supply, maintenance and insurance of civilian aircraft and spare parts to Russia over the Kremlin-ordered invasion.

Much of the air fleet operating in Russia is owned by Western leasing companies, which have fired their Russian contractors. Moscow, in turn, refuses to return the aircraft and has re-registered the machines without further ado.