Russian diplomacy condemned European decisions to bypass Belarusian skies, in reaction to the hijacking to Minsk of an airliner in which was a journalist and opponent.
While the European Union has recommended airlines to bypass Belarusian skies, Russian diplomacy spokeswoman Maria Zakharova denounced Westerners’ “irresponsible behavior endangering the safety of passengers”.
The EU made such a recommendation – widely followed – after Belarus’ decision on May 23 to send a fighter into the sky and “recommend” an Athens-Vilnius flight from Ryanair to land in Minsk, arguing a bomb threat attributed to Hamas. The Palestinian Islamist movement, for its part, has denied having any connection with the threat advanced by the Belarusian authorities.
On board the plane which was diverted were the journalist and Belarusian opponent Roman Protassevich and his companion Sofia Sapega (of Russian nationality), who were arrested.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for a transparent and independent investigation into what he called a “disturbing incident”, while the G7 demanded the “immediate release” of Roman Protassevich.
Details to follow …