EU leaders agree on Belarus sanctions after plane diversion

TEHRAN, May 25 (MNA) – At the summit on Monday,  EU leaders decided to bar Belarusian airlines from carrying out flights to EU airports and flying above the EU, also advising European carriers to suspend flights in the country’s airspace.

The summit "calls on all EU-based carriers to avoid overflight of Belarus; calls on the Council to adopt the necessary measures to ban overflight of EU airspace by Belarusian airlines and prevent access to EU airports of flights operated by such airlines," according to the statement, TASS reported.

This decision does not enter into effect yet and needs to be approved by the Council at the level of ministers.

A Vilnius-bound Ryanair flight that took off from Athens was forced to make an emergency landing at Minsk International Airport on May 23 after a reported bomb threat. The plane landed safely and no bomb was found on board. Roman Protasevich, one of the co-founders of the Nexta Telegram channel, which was recognized as extremist in Belarus, was among the passengers. Protasevich, currently living in Lithuania and wanted in Belarus, was detained after the airliner had landed in the Belarusian capital. The plane left Minsk and continued on to Vilnius later that day.

RHM/PR

News Code 173927

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