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5/23, 7:06 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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West protests Belarus's landing of Ryanair plane

Senior officials of the European Union, NATO and several European governments including Germany, France and the United Kingdom condemned on Sunday the landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk.

The plane flying from Athens, Greece, to Vilnius, Lithuania had to make an emergency landing after reports of a bomb threat. Belarusian state-owned BelTA agency reported that President Alexander Lukashenko personally ordered that Armed Forces' MiG-29 fighter escorts the plane ahead of its landing. However, upon landing, no explosives were found aboard, but one of the passengers, Belarusian opposition activist Roman Protasevich, has been arrested, according to local media.

Protasevich is considered to be an "extremist" by the Belarusian authorities due to his role in last year's opposition protests. He is reportedly facing up to 15 years in prison if prosecuted and convicted on the authorities' charges.

Breaking the News / MS