5/24/2021, 10:19 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Belarus must free detained Ryanair plane passengers - EU

The European Union called on Monday on Belarus to free the passengers detained after their Ryanair flight, which was heading from Athens to Vilnius, was forcefully grounded in Minsk. It also urged the bloc's airline companies to avoid that country's airspace and not to land on its territory.

"The forced landing of the Ryanair plane in Minsk is completely unacceptable, as is the arrest of [opposition figure] Roman Protasevich and [his partner] Sofia Sapega. We ask for their immediate release," EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said. "The European Council will discuss this and consider measures in response."

Earlier in the day, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated Belarus's action will face "serious consequences." Minsk previously said it landed the plane as Hamas allegedly threatened to blow it up, a statement German Chancellor Angela Markel dismissed as "completely implausible."

Baha Breaking News (BBN) / JR