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Merkel says Minsk’s explanations aren’t credible: Belarus update

Author : Bloomberg News Agency

Source : Bloomberg

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the incident “without precedent”
23:09, 24 May 2021

German Chancellor Angela Merkel
AP

European Union leaders are debating possible measures against Belarus, a day after the nation forced the landing of a Ryanair Holdings Plc plane and arrested a journalist on board.

The 27 leaders are considering further sanctions against President Alexander Lukashenko’s administration at the two-day summit in Brussels, which got underway at 7 p.m. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the incident “without precedent” and said explanations weren’t credible.

Related: Lukashenko signs law that would cut off communications in Belarus

Potential measures could also include suspending flights over Belarus, banning the country’s national airline from landing at EU airports and blocking ground transit into the bloc from Belarus, according to a person familiar with the summit preparations.

For now, even as Ryanair calls the interception an “act of aviation piracy,” the Irish carrier -- like many other airlines - is still flying through Belarus’s airspace.

Related: Belarus sends off ambassador, all diplomats working for Latvian Embassy, - Minister

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