Next week, the European Union may approve new sanctions against Belarus over the incident involving the forced landing of a Ryanair aircraft. The Brussels correspondent of the Radio Liberty Rikard Jozwiak stated this on his Twitter page.
“EU ambassadors look set to approve asset freezes and visa bans next week on 7 people & 1 entity deemed responsible for the forced landing of the #Ryanair flight on 23 May,” Jozwiak wrote.
According to him, a bigger sanctions list, as well as sectoral sanctions against Belarus will follow after this decision.
As it was reported, on May 23, 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.
The EU stated that the plane of Ryanair Company was forced to land at Minsk Airport due to the actions of the Belarusian military aircraft. CEO of Ryanair Michael O'Leary stated that the forcible landing of Athens-Vilnius flight in Belarus was highjacking backed by the state.
Head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen threatened with sanctions the Belarusian officials responsible for the incident with the plane.
The U.S. and a number of the EU countries demand to stop the flights over Belarus, including the flights to the country itself.
Ukraine also closed its airspace for Belarusian planes on May 29.