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European airlines banned from flying over Belarus

Source : 112 Ukraine

Exceptions can only be made in emergencies
18:26, 3 June 2021

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The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued Safety Directive, calling on member states’ companies to avoid the airspace of Belarus. The press service of the regulator stated this.

Related: Ukraine warns Belarus of sanctions in case of flights to Crimea

This follows the incident involving Ryanair flight FR4978 on May 23, 2021, and for “reducing the potential risk to passengers and crews that could arise from operations in this airspace”.

Exceptions can only be made in emergencies.

Related: Belarus states Ukraine insufficiently guarantees safety of flights

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.

Related: Supporters of Tikhanovsky sentenced to several years in colony in Belarus

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