European Council President Charles Michel today called Ryanair’s commercial flight between Greece and Lithuania an “international scandal”, which eventually led to the arrest of an opponent on board and promised sanctions.
“What happened yesterday [domingo] This is an international scandal. The lives of European citizens are in danger. This is unacceptable. Therefore, we have put the debate on sanctions on the seats of the European Council. We are preparing different options and different possible measures. “
The official said when he arrived at the special summit of EU leaders that he hoped that “a decision could be made tonight” on this issue, without specifying what sanctions measures were being considered.
The point of contention was that while traveling between Athens (Greece) and Vilnius (Lithuania), a Ryanair flight was forced to fly to Minsk (Belarus) on Sunday afternoon, which eventually led to the Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich was arrested.
The 26-year-old journalist traveled from Athens to Vilnius. During the anti-government protests in the first few weeks after the presidential election in August 2020, the Nexta channel of his social network Telegram became the main source of information.
Protasevich was eventually arrested by the Belarusian authorities after a bomb warning was alleged that about 120 passengers on the Ryanair plane were forced to undergo a new inspection in Minsk.
Several European countries have asked Belarus for an explanation.
European Commission President Ursula von der Lehn said on Sunday that the forced landing of a Ryanair plane in Minsk was “completely unacceptable” and emphasized that “any violation of international air transport rules will have consequences.” .
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also said that the rerouting of the aircraft was “a serious and dangerous incident that requires international investigation.”
As a result, foreign relations dominate the European Council’s agenda from today to Tuesday. This is the first meeting held in Brussels this year, which will enable leaders in particular to resolve sensitive issues such as Russia.
Initially held on Tuesday only, the summit was extended to two days, starting this evening-19:00 local time (18:00 from Lisbon)-a working dinner dedicated to foreign policy highlights the “strategic discussion” about Russia. This was already on the agenda of the Security Council in March last year.
On Sunday, Belarus discussed Ryanair’s transfer and joined the agenda.
“We will also have the opportunity to discuss the relationship between the European Union and Russia. We must implement the five principles that we must demonstrate solidarity and unity. We must firmly defend and promote European interests.” Charles Michel (Charles Michel) Said when he arrived at the European summit.
The official said that he hopes the EU will show a “clear position” on the situation between Israel at this meeting.