US, EU countries urge to suspend flights over Belarus

Source : 112 Ukraine

Forced landing of Ryanair Athens-Vilnius flight in Minsk with Belarusian oppositionist aboard the US and EU called piracy
14:11, 24 May 2021

Low-cost carrier Ryanair
Open source

The US and a number of European countries urge to suspend flights over Belarus. This statement was made after the forced landing of the Ryanair Athens-Vilnius flight in Minsk. Belarusian oppositionist Roman Protasevich, who was detained in Minsk, was on board, European Truth reports.

The corresponding statement was made by the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez, together with colleagues from the Czech Republic, Latvia, Germany, Lithuania, Ireland, Poland, and the United Kingdom.

“We, the chairs of our respective national parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committees, condemn unequivocally the threat of violence used against a civilian aircraft in the skies over Belarus. Using fighter aircraft to intercept a civilian Ryanair flight is an act of piracy on a route between two NATO and EU countries. This reckless act put the passengers and crew in grave danger. It is a reminder of the illegitimacy of the administration claiming authority in Minsk," the statement says.

Related: US proposes to convene ICAO meeting due to forced diversion of Ryanair flight

They also called on the International Civil Aviation Organization to immediately investigate this apparent violation of free transit between states and threats to aircraft.

"We call for Belarus to be suspended from the organization and a ban on all overflight of Belarus including flights to and from the country. This act of state terror and kidnapping is a threat to all those who travel in Europe and beyond. It cannot be allowed to stand," it added.

On Mat 23, founder of the largest opposition telegram channel of Belarus NEXTA, journalist Roman Protasevich, was detained in Minsk. The plane with Roman Protasevich on board flew from Athens to Vilnius. Suddenly, the plane gave a distress signal, changed course and made an emergency landing at the Minsk National Airport. The emergency landing was caused by a mining signal.

On behalf of the commander-in-chief, a fighter was raised to accompany the passenger plane. Now the MiG-29 is waiting for the necessary verification measures to be completed to escort the plane to the border with Lithuania.

Related: European Commission President calls for sanctions against Belarus over Ryanair flight's diversion


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