“Hazardous phase”: Members of the UN Security Council criticize the arrest of blogger Roman Protasewitsch. Belarus accuses France of air piracy.
Numerous current and former members of the UN Security Council have condemned Belarus’s forced landing of a passenger plane in Minsk. This means that we are in a “new and hazardous phase of the campaign by the Belarus authorities to oppress their people”, according to a message from the UN representation of Estonia, that of Germany, France, Ireland, Belgium, Norway, Great Britain and the USA was supported.
They also called for the release of the Belarusian blogger Roman Protasevich, who was arrested after the forced landing. According to diplomats, formal action by the Council is unlikely, as the veto member Russia is likely to protect its ally Belarus. A joint declaration by all 15 members of the most powerful UN body failed, among other things, because of resistance from Russia.
In response to the forced landing, the EU heads of state and government agreed to block the airspace for aircraft from Belarus at their summit on Monday. The Ryanair plane was on its way from Athens to Vilnius when the Belarusian government forced it to make a stopover in Minsk on a pretext. Protasevich, living in exile, and his Russian friend Sofia Sapega, who were on board the plane, were arrested.