What countries border Ukraine? Which nations are neighbours to Russia, NATO member states and map of region
Countries bordering Ukraine have condemned the Russian invasion which saw troops enter through the border with Belarus
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The growing tensions has prompted fears for security in the region as well fears over the possibility of a refugee crisis.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has warned about hazards of flying in bordering regions, and Ukraine has closed its airspace to civilian flights.
Which countries border Ukraine and how have they reacted to the invasion? This is what you need to know.
Who are Ukraine’s neighbours?
Aside from Russia, Ukraine is the most populous country among its neighbours with a population of over 43 million. Poland has a population of more than 37 million, while Romania has over 19 million residents. Hungary and Belarus have populations of more than 9 million, while Slovakia’s is 5.4 million, and Moldova is just over 4 million.
Of Ukraine’s neighbours, Poland and Belarus also share borders with Russia. The Poland-Russia border is a nearly straight-line division between Poland and the Russian Federation exclave (part of the state which is separated from the main part geographically) Kaliningrad Oblast, a region not connected to the Russian mainland.
Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary are NATO members. Moldova is not as it is a neutral country.
Russia is not a NATO member, however Ukraine wants to be, something Russia is against. President Putin had repeatedly asked for assurance the country will not join NATO after saying the west had broken a promise to not expand eastwards.
Which countries have closed their airspaces?
Ukraine’s State Air Traffic Services Enterprise closed the country’s airspace at 12.45am GMT on Thursday “due to the high risk of aviation safety for civil aviation”.
It added: “The provision of air traffic services to civilian users of the airspace of Ukraine is suspended.”
Moldova, southwest of Ukraine, also closed its airspace, while Belarus to the north said civilian flights could no longer fly over part of its territory.
EASA) said airspace in Russia and Belarus within 100 nautical miles of their borders with Ukraine could also pose safety risks.
“In particular, there is a risk of both intentional targeting and misidentification of civil aircraft,” the agency said.
Russia has also closed part of its airspace.
Poland’s LOT airline has cancelled all flights to Kyiv, Lviv and Odessa in Ukraine in connection with Russia’s invasion of the country.
What have Ukraine’s neighbours said about the crisis?
RadioFree Europe reported that Moldovan president Maia Sandu said the country’s capital Chisinau would introduce a state of emergency and was ready to accept tens of thousands of people fleeing Ukraine after the Russian attack.
“We will help people who need our help and support,” Sandu said on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported that Slovakia will send up to 1,500 troops to the country’s border with Ukraine to help with refugees and the country is also prepared to increase the number of border crossings,
The president of Romania said Russia’s attack on Ukraine was “reprehensible” and that President Vladimir Putin “threatens the peace of the entire planet.”
President Klaus Iohannis said Russia “chose the reprehensible and completely illegal path of massive armed violence against an independent and sovereign state.”
Iohannis said Romania, is ready to deal with economic and humanitarian consequences that the conflict could generate.
In Poland the country’s government is preparing for an influx of people from Ukraine fleeing the conflict. It is setting up reception centres and hospitals in response near the Polish-Ukrainian border.
The country’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said: “Europe and the free world has to stop Putin. Today’s European Council should approve fiercest possible sanctions,” Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki said.
Hungary’s foreign minister Peter Szijjarto said: “Hungary’s position is clear,” he added. “We stand for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.”
What about Belarus?
Russian troops entered Ukraine through its border with Belarus, on Thursday. Russian forces crossed from Belarus into Ukraine’s northern Chernihiv region. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko ,an ally of Putin, said: “Our armed forces are not taking part in this operation.”
The Financial Times reported that Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has announced the establishment of a government in exile after president Alexander Lukashenko allowed the country to be used by Russia for the invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking from the Lithuanian embassy in Paris she said: “I am taking on the responsibility to represent the Republic of Belarus and the Belarusian people.”
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