EU leaders agreed to sanction Minsk over Ryanair flight's forced landing

They called on the Council to ban overflight of EU airspace by Belarusian airlines and prevent access of their planes to EU airports

Photo: EU European Council in session.

For further targeted economic sanctions against Belarus asked the EU leaders on Monday evening and demanded the High Representative and the Commission to submit proposals without delay. They insisted as well for swift additional listings of persons and entities “on the basis of the relevant sanctions framework”.

The European Council strongly condemned the forced landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk, Belarus, on 23 May endangering aviation safety.

The leaders demanded the immediate release of the detained by Belarusian authorities journalist Raman Pratasevich and Sofia Sapega, and asked guarantees of their freedom of movement.

They also called on the International Civil Aviation Organisation to urgently investigate this “unprecedented and unacceptable incident”.

The European Council demanded all EU-based carriers to avoid overflight of Belarus and called on the Council to adopt the necessary measures to ban overflight of EU airspace by Belarusian airlines and prevent access to EU airports of flights operated by such airlines.

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