The aviation department of the Transport and Communication Ministry of the Republic of Belarus stated that it does not recommend the international air carriers to use the air space of Ukraine as it can be unsafe as the ministry reported.
“Considering the incidents with the plane of Siberia Airlines downed during the drills of the air defense of Ukraine in 2001, and the plane of Malaysia Airlines downed over the territory of eastern Ukraine in 2014, as well as threats in 2016 of the use of the military force against the plane of Belavia, doubts occur as to the sufficiency of the provision by Ukraine of the safety of flights and air security, as well as objectivity and non-politicization of its estimation of the capability of Belarus to provide safety of flights and air security,” the message said.
Moreover, it is stated that the aviation authorities of Belarus do not recommend the international air carriers to use the air space of Ukraine for flights.
Moreover, Belarus believes that the decision on the restriction of the use of the air space of Ukraine by Belarusian planes made by Ukraine unilaterally violates the paragraphs of 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation and the 1995 Agreement between the government of Belarus and the government of Ukraine on air traffic.
“The introduction of this restriction, which harms the Belarusian Belavia Company and persons who use its services, was made without preliminary talks for the settlement of possible disputes and it is also the violation by Ukraine of its international and legal commitments against Belarus,” the Ministry noted.
Belarus also prepares to appeal to the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization for “estimation of the legitimacy of the decision” of countries, first of all Ukraine, to ban Belarusian planes from use of their air space.
On May 23, the founder of the largest opposition telegram channel of Belarus NEXTA, journalist Roman Pratasevich, 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.
Besides, six U.N. Security Council members - Estonia, France, Ireland, Norway, Britain and the United States - condemned on May 26 the interception of a plane by Belarus as “a blatant attack on international civilian aviation safety and European security”.
Ukraine stopped air traffic with Belarus on May 26; on May 29, Ukraine closed its air space for Belarusian planes.