EU summons Belarus Ambassador

Borrell said there will be measures against those responsible for the forced diversion of Ryanair flight FR4978 to Minsk

Photo: EU Josep Borrell.

Upon request by High Representative Josep Borrell, the Secretary-General of the European External Action Service, Stefano Sannino, summoned the Belarus Ambassador to the EU, Aleksandr Mikhnevich, to condemn the inadmissible step of the Belarusian authorities, who forced a civilian plane to perform an emergency landing in Minsk and detained its passenger Raman Pratasevich, an independent Belarusian journalist and activist.

The news was announced by Peter Stano, Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Ambassador Mikhnevich was informed of the firm condemnation by the EU institutions and EU Member States of the coercive act by which the Belarusian authorities have jeopardised the safety of passengers and crew.

Secretary-General Sannino conveyed the EU’s position that the outrageous action by Belarusian authorities constitute another blatant attempt to silence all opposition voices in the country and demanded the immediate release of Pratasevich.

“Yesterday’s unacceptable act will be raised at today’s meeting of the European Council. The EU will consider the consequences of these actions, including possible measures against those responsible,” it was underlined in a press release.

Earlier on Monday in a declaration, the High Representative on behalf of the EU, stated that “the Belarusian authorities, in an inadmissible step, forced a civilian plane to perform an emergency landing in Minsk”.

He pointed out that the plane, owned by an EU company, flying between two EU capitals and carrying more than 100 passengers, was forced to land by a Belarusian military aircraft.

“One of the flight passengers, Raman Pratasevich, an independent journalist from Belarus, was retained by the Belarusian authorities and prevented from boarding the plane at the Minsk airport to its original destination. This is yet another blatant attempt by the Belarusian authorities to silence all opposition voices,” the HR stressed, saying that the EU calls “for the immediate release of Mr Pratasevich”.

The EU will consider the consequences of this action, including taking measures against those responsible, Borrell stressed.

 

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