Since Belarus forced a Ryanair airliner from Athens to Vilnius on the FR4978 flight, it was intercepted by MiG-29 fighter jets and sent-as all previous information indicated-a false warning that Hamas planned to blow up the aircraft.
The real landing target, described by the directors of Ryanair, the Prime Minister of Ireland and other European leaders as a national kidnapping and piracy, was clearly the arrest of the Belarusian dissident and journalist Roman Protašević and his girlfriend, Russian citizen Sofia Sapega, returned to Vilnius, and lived there. As Protašević reported on the major anti-government protests in Belarus after last year’s elections, they were accused of “organizing large-scale riots and severely disrupting public order and peace” and “Inciting social hostility based on professional relationships.”
The EU’s response was unexpectedly quick and decisive. The day after the incident, the Council of Europe decided at a special meeting in Brussels to impose new sanctions on the Belarusian regime and close the country’s airspace in Europe, but also called on European airlines to avoid flying over Belarusian airspace because “unheard of And the illegal actions of the Belarusian regime.” As the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Lein said.
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Three days after the incident, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) formally advised European airlines to avoid flying over Belarusian airspace, regardless of the final destination. In its Safety Information Bulletin (SIB), it called on all airlines “headquartered in one of the member states of the European Aviation Safety Agency” to avoid Belarusian airspace. She also advised other airlines to bypass Belarus.
In fact, other airlines, such as Singapore Airlines, have also announced that they will bypass Belarusian airspace. French Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari announced on Monday that France has suspended Belavia’s airspace flights.
Belarus has announced a ban on flying over the airspace of 16 European countries: Lithuania, Latvia, France, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Finland, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Germany, Austria, Estonia, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Italy.As a result, it had to cancel flights to 22 European destinations from May 27 to October 30
The first specific consequence of the suspension occurred on Wednesday, when a Belavia airliner flying from Minsk to Barcelona had to turn around after Poland notified that it might not be able to enter French airspace.
As a staunch ally of Belarus, Russia’s response was to block the permits of Air France and Austrian Airlines (the parent company of which is Lufthansa) to fly to Moscow through Russian rather than Belarusian airspace for a few days, and they will no longer fly Russian airspace. Therefore, the Vienna-Moscow and Paris-Moscow flights had to be cancelled last week.
However, Russia quickly relented and announced that it would allow European airlines to bypass Belarusian airspace. According to the Russian news agency TASS, as early as Friday, Russian authorities approved Austrian Airlines to bypass Belarusian airspace on the Vienna-Moscow route. In addition, Russian media RBC wrote that due to the technical complexity of the new route development, earlier flights were cancelled.
Photo: Environmental Protection Agency
At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin met and supported Belarusian President and ally Alexander Lukashenko in the southern Russian city of Sochi.
“They used to force the plane of the President of Bolivia to land and then pulled it out. There was nothing, silence,” Putin said, referring to the 2013 incident, when the United States tried to arrest whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Eva Snowdon. Morales’ plane had to land in Austria, although there were no military aircraft intercepted at the time, and there were no false threats from bombs and terrorists.
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