European Commission President Ursula von der Lehn called for sanctions against Belarus last night. The Belarusian authorities forced a Ryanair plane to land, and Lithuania launched an investigation into its terrorist-related hijacking.
Von der Leyen wrote on Twitter late Sunday before the meeting of EU heads of state and government: “Those responsible for the Ryanair kidnapping must be sanctioned.”
The Belarusian authorities yesterday ordered the Ryanair plane to fly from Greece to Latvia, forcing it to land in the capital Minsk, and then arrested Roman Protasevich, one of the main opposition activists on board.
The passenger plane was escorted to Minsk on a fighter jet, explaining that it contained explosives, but no explosives were found. At the same time, the plane took off from Minsk and landed safely in Vilnius.
Von de Lehn said: “The journalist Roman Protasevich must be released immediately.”
After the presidential election held in August 2020 and the government’s suppression of demonstrators, Belarus has already been sanctioned by the European Union and is beginning a fourth round of measures against senior officials.
According to Reuters, after Sunday’s incident, other measures may include suspension of all EU airlines flying over Belarus, a ban on Belavia’s landing at EU airports, and even a ban on all transits from Belarus to the EU.
The Lithuanian State Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation on the forced landing of terrorists and human rights violations on Sunday.
After the plane landed in Vilnius, Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte told reporters that this unprecedented case should be thoroughly investigated.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) expressed deep concern on Twitter on Sunday that the plane and its passengers were apparently forced to land in Belarus, warning that this may violate the Chicago Convention, which is important for regulating international civil wars after World War II. International Treaty II. aviation.