The United States and France urged on Sunday their citizens staying in Russia to "leave immediately" amid worsening travel conditions as countries increasingly close their airspace to Russian aircraft.

Iran PressAmerica: On Wednesday morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin officially announced a special military operation against Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin says he had no other choice than to launch the military operation to stop the Ukrainian military’s interference in two eastern republics that have broken away from Ukraine. Russia perceives NATO’s eastward expansion as a threat.

Russia has said its operation in Ukraine is not a start to the war, but an attempt to prevent a global war.

US citizens should consider leaving Russia immediately, as an increasing number of airlines are cancelling flights into and out of Russia and numerous countries have closed their airspace to Russian airlines, the US Embassy in Russia said in a statement on Sunday.

"US citizens should consider departing Russia immediately via commercial options still available," said a security alert dated February 27 on the website of the embassy in Moscow.

On the same day, the French Foreign Ministry advised French citizens to leave Russia immediately because of the increasing restrictions on air travel between France and Russia.  219

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