"Ceasing the air transit across Belarus can potentially increase our incomes. That, by the way, concerns ground transit. Our taxes and transport committees of the Parliament have ideas on implementation of transit transport charges, which would let us make some money", Tymoshenko said.
On May 23, Belarusian Air Force fighter jet intercepted the Ryanair passenger plance, which was on its way from Athens to Vilnius. The civilian aircraft performed a forced landing in Minsk airport. Two people who traveled aboard that plane were arrested upon the landing; they were opposition journalist Roman Pratasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega.
The EU claimed that the Ryanair airplane had to land in Minsk due to the actions of Belarusian military plane. Michael O'Leary, the Ryanair CEO claimed that the forced landing was an "act of kidnapping sponsored by the state". Ukrainian, EU and U.S. high officials threatened with restrictions, and eventually introduced them; in particular, they ceased the air traffic with Belarus and closed its airspace for Belarusian planes.