Australia & World

Belarus’ isolation grows as Airlink disconnects the detoured plane

Protests in Poland for the release of Protasevic in Rome

Belarus’ administration became more and more isolated on Tuesday, and Europe slashed its air network, calling for further action over the detour of airliners and the arrest of dissidents on board.

After overcoming last year’s protests and waves of western sanctions, President Alexander Lukashenko faced extraordinary new pressure on Sunday’s rerouting of Ryanair flights to Minsk and the arrest of opposition journalist Roman Protasevic. Was there.

Air France, Finnair and Singapore Airlines have become the latest airlines to suspend flights over Belarus, following Scandinavian Airlines’ SAS, Lufthansa and Latvia-based regional airlines AirBaltic. It was.

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Tihanovskaya told reporters in Vilnius, who lived in exile after being contested in the elections last August, called for “comprehensive” international measures to force the administration to relinquish power.

“The suspension of flights over Belarus does not solve the real problem. The problem is the terrorist regime that cheated on elections last year.”

She called for the Belarusian opposition to be invited to the G7 summit in Britain next month. This is an initiative that a source close to French President Emmanuel Macron said was endorsed by Paris.

The United Nations Rights Agency also demanded the immediate release of Protasevic and his Russian girlfriend Sophia Sapega, who were arrested after the flight from Athens to Vilnius landed in Minsk.

Lukashenko and his allies have already been subject to a series of western sanctions on a brutal crackdown on opposition protests following his controversial reelection until the sixth quarter of last August.

He lived between Poland and Lithuania.

-“Not his words”-

US President Joe Biden said the video appeared to have been “forced”. He welcomed the EU’s move and said Washington was considering “appropriate options for making responsible persons accountable.”

“He never spoke that way. They weren’t his words … he was reading something he was told to read,” he said.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Transport released a record of calls between Minsk’s air traffic control and Ryanair’s flight, where the crew was told, “You have a bomb,” and urged you to land in Minsk. I did.

-“Belarusians can’t afford to buy a plane”-

Last year’s protests struck the country for months, with tens of thousands of people on the streets blaming Lukashenko’s administration.

Demonstrations declined as many protesters fled the country, including Tikhanovskaya, who claimed victory in the August vote.

On the streets of Minsk, many opposition supporters welcomed the no-fly zone, saying that Belarusians could hardly travel anyway and needed more pressure for change.

Blogger Severin said such a move was needed to get the administration to accept the results of the August vote last year.

bur-mm / jbr / yad

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Belarus’ isolation grows as Airlink disconnects the detoured plane

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