LONDON - British citizens should avoid Russian airlines due to safety concerns, following a decision by Britain's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to put Russia on a safety watchlist, transport minister Grant Shapps said on Friday.

"I urge all British nationals to avoid flying with a Russian airline," Shapps said in a statement, adding the CAA had acted "due to our concerns that the Russian authorities are actively promoting unsafe practices".

Russian airlines are already banned from entering British airspace.

(Reporting by David Milliken Editing by Chris Reese)