The President's Office compared the air incident in Belarus to the Athens-Vilnius flight with a "special operation against Wagner" that could have taken place in Ukraine. The adviser to the head of the Office of President Mykhailo Podoliak stated this, as Ukrainian Pravda reports.
“Forcing a passenger plane to land in Minsk under the falsified pretext of "mining" and under the escort of military aircraft is an unconditional and demonstrative challenge to the modern world. Based on the summing-up of the event, there is no doubt that the main organizer and beneficiary of the forced landing is the Russian Federation. It is already quite obvious that Russia was preparing something similar for Ukraine. In the form of a non-existent" special operation "with exactly the same coercive scenario and further maximum discrediting of our country,” Podoliak said.
He noted that this fact requires a strict legal assessment. At the very least, it could be a "ban on the sky," isolating Belarus from direct communications with other countries.
As it was reported earlier, the 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.
Later, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen called for swift sanctions after Belarus’s authoritarian ruler forced a Ryanair plane to land in Minsk and detained a prominent opposition journalist.
The US and a number of European countries urged to suspend flights over Belarus.
And Ukrainian MPs called interception of the plane by Belarus "Air piracy and international terrorism".