Home WORLD The world reacts to the “hijacking” of the Belarusian aircraft, and journalists arrested | Business Wire Europe News

The world reacts to the “hijacking” of the Belarusian aircraft, and journalists arrested | Business Wire Europe News



European countries, the United States and the United Nations condemned Belarus because the authorities there forced a passenger plane carrying wanted journalists to transfer and land in its capital.

In what some EU leaders called the “hijacking”, the passenger plane from Greece to Lithuania was suddenly diverted to Minsk on Sunday and was escorted by a Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jet.

After landing, the authorities detained the journalist Roman Protasevich.

This incident comes as the European Union will discuss at a planned summit on Monday to strengthen the existing sanctions against Belarus imposed on President Alexander Lukashenko’s suppression of opposition demonstrators.

This is a summary of the global response:

European Union

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, stated that “the barbaric and illegal actions of the Belarusian regime will have consequences”.

“Personal responsible for the #Ryanair hijacking incident should be sanctioned.”


The President of Lithuania, Gitanas Nauseda, described the actions of Belarus as “distasteful” and called for the immediate release of Protasevich.

The prosecutor also said that they have conducted a criminal investigation into the hijacking incident.

International Civil Aviation Organization

The United Nations Civil Aviation Administration stated that forced landings “may violate the Chicago Convention,” which is designed to protect the sovereignty of countries’ airspace.

United States

The United States “strongly condemned” Protasevich’s arrest, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for the release of the journalist.

He said in a statement: “This shocking move by the Lukashenko regime endangered the lives of more than 120 passengers, including American citizens,” he said in another spelling of the name of the leader of Belarus.

He added on Twitter: “We have requested an international investigation and are coordinating the next steps with our partners.”


Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated that the forced landing “is an unprecedented and shocking move by a commercial aircraft to detain a journalist.”

He said that the EU “must address the need to increase pressure on Belarus.” He said: “Enough.”


The Irish government, where Ryanair is headquartered, described the incident as “absolutely unacceptable.”

Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin (Micheal Martin) called on the European Union to discuss “these unprecedented actions” at its Monday meeting.


Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki condemned the actions of Belarus as an “act of state terrorism” and called for sanctions against the Lukashenko government.


French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called on European countries to make a “firm and unified response.”


NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that he is still closely monitoring the “forced landing” and detention of “opposition figure Roman Protasevich.”

“This is a serious and dangerous incident that requires an international investigation. Belarus must ensure the safe return of the crew and all passengers.” He wrote on Twitter.


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