Ryanair plane diverted to Belarus “so journalist can be arrested” – fr

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Ryanair plane diverted to Belarus “so journalist can be arrested” – fr


A A Ryanair plane from Greece to Lithuania was ordered to land in Minsk on Sunday, where Belarusian authorities arrested a journalist.

The move drew international condemnation, with Foreign Minister Dominic Raab saying he was “alarmed” by the actions of the Belarusian government of President Alexander Lukashenko, who is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We are working in coordination with our allies. This extravagant action by Lukashenko will have serious implications, ”he tweeted.
Germany calls for an immediate explanation and the Polish Prime Minister calls it “a reprehensible act of state terrorism”.
Lithuania, a member of the EU, urged the European Union and NATO to react.
The plane, flying from Athens to Vilnius, had almost reached Lithuania when it changed direction and was escorted to Minsk, the Belarusian capital, after reporting it had explosives on board.
Belarusian law enforcement officials picked up activist Roman Protasevich, 26, from the plane and arrested him.
He was placed on a wanted list after street protests last year following a presidential election in which Lukashenko was declared the winner but opponents complained of electoral fraud.
Lukashenko personally ordered a warplane to escort the Boeing to Minsk, BelTA reported. No explosives were found, he said.
Lithuania and Russia’s traditional ally, Belarus, are neighbors and former members of the Soviet Union. Lithuania is now a member of the European Union, Belarus is not.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda called for an international response.
“I call on NATO and EU allies to react immediately to the threat posed to international civil aviation by the Belarusian regime. The international community must take immediate action so that this does not happen again, ”Nauseda said.

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