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Russia kicks as US, EU, UK, others threaten Belarus over forced landing of passenger plane

Bearing in mind the incident of 23 May, when a Ryanair passenger plane flying from Athens to Vilnius was forced to land, thus posing risks to the security and a threat to the lives of civilians, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends Lithuanian citizens against all travel to the Republic of Belarus and urges all Lithuanian citizens in Belarus to leave the country.

Lithuania Foreign Affairs Ministry

#BREAKING Lithuania says banning all flights to or from its airports from crossing Belarus airspace from Tuesday

SOURCE

World reacts to plane ‘hijacking’, arrest of journalist

The outrageous and illegal behaviour of the regime in Belarus will have consequences.

Those responsible for the #Ryanair hijacking must be sanctioned.

Journalist Roman Protasevich must be released immediately.

EUCO will discuss tomorrow action to take.

European Commission President, Ursula Von der Leyen

Very concerned regarding reports of a forced landing of #Ryanair flight in Minsk.

We call on Belarus authorities to immediately release the flight and all its passengers.

An #ICAO investigation of the incident will be essential.

European Council President, Charles Michel

Closely monitoring forcible landing in #Belarus of flight to Vilnius & reported detention of opposition figure Roman Protasevich. This is a serious & dangerous incident which requires international investigation. Belarus must ensure safe return of crew & all passengers.

NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg

Unprecedented event! A civilian passenger plane flying to Vilnius was forcibly landed in #Minsk. Belarusian political activist & founder of @NEXTA_EN was on the plane. He is arrested. Belarusian regime is behind the abhorrent action. I demand to free Roman Protasevič urgently!

Lithuanian President, Gitanas Nauseda

The UK is alarmed by reports of the arrest of @nexta_tv journalist Roman Protasevich & circumstances that led to his flight being forced to land in Minsk. We are coordinating with our allies. This outlandish action by Lukashenko will have serious implications.

The UK Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab [/b]

Belarusian authorities’ hijacking of @Ryanair flight is unacceptable. A firm and united response from the Europeans is essential. All passengers on this flight, including any Belarusian opponents, must be allowed to leave #Belorussia without delay.

French Foreign Affairs Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian

It is utterly unacceptable. This is an Irish Airline with EU citizens on board, forced to land in Minsk, while travelling between EU cities. A strong an united response from EU needed.
EU inaction or indecision will be taken as weakness by Belarus. @dfatirl

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney

I condemn in the strongest terms the detention of Roman Protasevich by Belarussian authorities, after a Ryanair passenger aircraft was hijacked. This is a reprehensible act of state terrorism.

I have asked @eucopresident to expand tomorrow’s #EUCO agenda and discuss immediate sanctions against A. Lukashenka regime. Hijacking of a civilian plane is an unprecedented act of state terrorism. It cannot go unpunished.

Polish President, Mateusz Morawiecki

ICAO is strongly concerned by the apparent forced landing of a Ryanair flight and its passengers, which could be in contravention of the Chicago Convention. We look forward to more information being officially confirmed by the countries and operators concerned.

International Civil Aviation Organisation

The forced landing of a commercial plane to detain a journalist is an unprecedented, shocking act. We demand all passengers’ immediate release. Tomorrow’s #EUCO must address the need to step up pressure on Belarus. Enough is enough.

Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis

The United States strongly condemns the forced diversion of a flight between two EU member states and the subsequent removal and arrest of journalist Raman Pratasevich in Minsk. We demand his immediate release. This shocking act perpetrated by the Lukashenka regime endangered the lives of more than 120 passengers, including U.S. citizens. Initial reports suggesting the involvement of the Belarusian security services and the use of Belarusian military aircraft to escort the plane are deeply concerning and require full investigation.

We are closely coordinating our response with our partners, including the EU and Lithuanian and Greek officials. Given indications the forced landing was based on false pretenses, we support the earliest possible meeting of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization to review these events.

Independent media are an essential pillar supporting the rule of law and a vital component of a democratic society. The United States once again condemns the Lukashenka regime’s ongoing harassment and arbitrary detention of journalists. We stand with the Belarusian people in their aspirations for a free, democratic, and prosperous future and support their call for the regime to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.

US State Department Spokesperson, Ned Price

Lukashenka’s unrestrained efforts to imprison and silence political foes hurts the country’s people, its international reputation, as well as its economy.  Add commercial aviation safety to the long list of risks of doing business with Belarus.

US Ambassador to Belarus, Julie Fisher

Today #Belarus forcefully landed @Ryanair plane in #Minsk and imprisoned Roman #Protasevich, journalist, activist & close associate of @Tsihanouskaya. This is absolutely unacceptable. Slovenia calls for the immediate release of all passengers and independent intl investigation.

Foreign Affairs Ministry, Slovenia

Belarusians need decisive actions & help of the international community. Forcing @Ryanair plane to land to detain Raman Pratasevich is the result of the regime’s impunity. This is a real internal occupation.

exiled Belarusian opposition leader, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya

The deviation by Belarus and forced landing of a @Ryanair plane in Minsk and arrest of journalist Roman Pratasevich are a serious interference in civil aviation and a clear attack on media freedom. Canada calls on #Belarus to free Mr. Pratasevich.

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Marc Garneau

The fact that a flight between EU countries was forced to make a stopover under the pretext of a bomb threat is a serious interference with air traffic. We are very concerned about reports that journalist Roman Protasevich was arrested on the way.

This cannot go without clear consequences on the part of the EU. We are in close contact with our EU partners. In any case, #Belarus must immediately guarantee the safety, integrity and freedom of all passengers and release Roman Protasewitsch.

German Foreign Affairs Minister, Heiko Maas

The forced landing of a passenger plane in Belarus today to detain a journalist is absolutely unacceptable.

These unprecedented actions have caused widespread concern across the EU – and they must be addressed at tomorrow’s #EUCO

Irish Prime Minister, Micheal Martin

Joint call for all flights to, from, and over Belarus to be suspended and for sanctions on the Lukashenko regime from the chairs of the Parliament foreign affairs committees of Ireland, UK, US, Poland, Germany, Estonia, Czechia, Latvia, Lithuania

SOURCE

Whilst Lithuania is a member of the EU, Belarus isn’t a member of the EU.

Belarus is an ally of Russia’s.

It is shocking that the West calls the incident in the airspace of Belarus “shocking”.

The life of “civilized democracies” along the trajectory of “quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi” has long been irrelevant due to the loss of the once leading true leadership qualities. The blood and suffering of millions around the world knocked the stool from under the Western demagogues from which they preached.

Or it should shock everything: from the forced landings in Austria of the plane of the President of Bolivia at the request of the United States and in Ukraine after 11 minutes of take-off of the Belarusian board with an Anti-Maidan activist. Or it should not shock the similar behavior of others.

The use of information and political campaigns to form an appropriate perception through the media does not bring the desired effect-the network remembers all cases of violent abductions, forced landings and illegal arrests made by”law enforcement officers and guardians of morality”.

Russia Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Maria Zakharova

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