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Belarus, Ryanair plane hijacked: news, what happens


May 24, 2021

Tensions and controversies on the case of the Ryanair plane hijacked in Belarus to allow the arrest of the journalist Roman Protasevich in Minsk have not subsided. The news of these hours refer to an increasingly tense climate. Several countries, including Italy, condemn the incident. The European Union is evaluating possible sanctions and with the US asks for the immediate release of the journalist. Meanwhile, Protasevich’s partner, 23-year-old Russian citizen Sofya Sapega, a master’s student in Vilnius, was also arrested yesterday in Belarus. Sapega was on the hijacked Ryanair plane. The university where he is studying urges his immediate release and announces that yesterday he was returning to Vilnius to discuss his Master’s thesis. WHO IS ROMAN PROTASEVICH Roman Protasevich, 26, is one of the few independent voices in Belarus. Co founder and former director of the Nexta Telegram channel, used by the opposition to share information and organize protests. Yesterday he was returning to Vilnius from Athens, where he had attended a conference together with the leader of the opposition, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. He had already left the country in 2019, to move to Lithuania, for fear of being arrested. Last November, he was indicted for inciting public unrest and social hatred. He was expelled from one of the most prestigious high schools in his country for taking part in a protest in 2011, when he was 16 and then expelled from the university’s journalism degree. of Lukashenko “was expressed by the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. In a tweet, Blinken said that hijacking a commercial flight and arresting a reporter is a “cheeky and shocking” act. The secretary of state then called for “an international investigation” and announced that “we are coordinating with our partners on the next steps. The United States is with the people of Belarus”. The Belarusian authorities must release Raman Pratasevich “immediately”. The request was made by EU High Representative Josep Borrell, for whom it is “yet another clear attempt by the Belarusian authorities to silence all opposition voices”. According to Borrell, “an international investigation into the accident must be conducted to ascertain any violation of civil aviation regulations”. Today’s European Council will talk about the events that took place yesterday: the EU “will evaluate the consequences of this action” and could “take measures against those responsible”, concludes Borrell. “It is horrible that this is happening in Europe today. It looks a bit like the Cold War. It is unacceptable: there must be a strong reaction from the EU,” said European Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans, on the sidelines of the pre-summit of the PSE in Brussels.DI MAIO: “WE ARE IN THE RETURNS OF STATE” “We believe both as a government and as the European Union that what has happened is unacceptable. We are in the hijackings of state and this is not acceptable”, said the foreign minister. Luigi Di Maio, in his speech at the event ‘Directive relating to adequate minimum wages in the European Union’. “The only thing that will happen right away is that many of the airlines will no longer fly over those airspace if you are then intercepted by military fighters inviting you to land to pick up a Belarusian citizen who was waging a battle for democracy and freedom. “added Di Maio. “The EU must be united with respect to what is happening. Let us not be divided by third parties because it is on these divisions that the arrogance of some countries that allow themselves to take actions like this is played out”. Following Di Maio’s instructions, Undersecretary Benedetto Della Vedova summoned the Affairs Officer of the Republic of Belarus today at the Farnesina in relation to the “very serious episode of the hijacking of the Athens-Vilnius commercial flight operated by Ryanair, which resulted in the temporary kidnapping in person of the 149 passengers “. This was reported in a note from the Farnesina. “The undersecretary – it reads – has expressed the clearest condemnation for an inadmissible act, which constitutes a very serious violation of international aviation safety standards and for which Belarus will be called to respond. In this regard, Italy has already begun to discuss with the partners in today’s meeting of the European Council the adoption of response measures proportionate to the seriousness of the incident. Similar initiatives are being undertaken in multilateral fora “. “Furthermore – concludes the note – Della Vedova asked for the immediate release of Mr. Roman Protasevich and his partner: Italy will continue to spare no effort to obtain the immediate release of all political prisoners”. UNITED KINGDOM AGAINST LUKASHENKOAlexander Lukashenko “must be held accountable for his strange actions”. British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said this in a statement after the Ryanair plane hijacked in Minsk. “The UK is calling for the immediate release of Protasevich and other political prisoners held in Belarus – added Raab – The UK is working with allies on a coordinated response, including further sanctions”. According to Raab, an urgent meeting of the council of the International Civil Aviation Organization is needed “to assess the regime’s failure to comply with international standards for the protection of civil aviation”. The London authorities have asked the British airlines to do not enter Belarusian airspace. “Following the forced detour of a Ryanair plane to Minsk yesterday, I instructed (the British Civil Aviation Authority) to ask airlines to avoid Belarusian airspace to keep passengers safe,” announced the Minister of Transport. British, Grant Shapps. On Twitter, Shapps also announced that Britain has suspended the permit to fly to the Belarusian flag carrier, Belavia. The UK has summoned the Belarusian ambassador and is considering sanctions against Minsk following yesterday’s hijacking of a Ryanair flight. Foreign Minister Dominic Raab reported this in a statement to the House of Commons. “We are working with our international partners to explore any potential diplomatic options at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the UN Security Council, the OSCE and the G7,” Raab said. In addition to the diplomatic path, he added, “we are actively considering and coordinating with our allies for further sanctions against those responsible for this illegal conduct”. BELARUS: “ACTIONS IN LINE WITH STANDARDS” “Aviation safety regulations are an absolute priority, everywhere and for everyone “and” there is no doubt that the actions of our competent authorities have been in line with international standards “. This is what a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, Anatoly Glaz, said in statements reported by the BelTa agency following the hijacking. “Belarus has always behaved responsibly”, he argued, promising “total transparency”. “We are ready – he said – to guarantee total transparency and, if necessary, to welcome experts and show all the materials to exclude any insinuation”. “The situation is deliberately politicized – he insisted – And there is no desire to manage the situation objectively. Once again we hear instead slogans on sanctions”. Ryanair by the authorities of Belarus. “We don’t want to get involved in this rush to condemn someone or support anything,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “A cold-blooded assessment of the plane crash is needed at this point,” he added. “There are international framework regulations on air flights and international authorities that have the task of assessing whether the rules have been respected or not”, said Peskov. RYANAIR CEO: “RETURN OF STATE” “This is a case of hijacking of State, of State piracy “. So the CEO of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, in an interview with ‘Politico’ defined the hijacking yesterday in Minsk. “Our crew did a phenomenal job of getting that plane and nearly all passengers out of Minsk after six hours,” O’Leary added, noting that Ryanair will report today on what happened to NATO and the EU authorities.

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