EUCO President says Belarus actions will not remain without consequences

EUCO President says Belarus actions will not remain without consequences
Date: Monday, 24 May 2021 20:01

The statement comes ahead of today’s Special European Council of heads of state and government. The statement condemned Belarus’s actions in the “strongest possible terms” and called for the immediate release of NEXTA journalist Raman Pratasevich. Leaders will be discussing their response to this “unprecedented incident” at the meeting.

The US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken described Belarussia’s actions as “brazen and shocking”

We strongly condemn the Lukashenka regime’s brazen and shocking act to divert a commercial flight and arrest a journalist. We demand an international investigation and are coordinating with our partners on next steps. The United States stands with the people of Belarus.

— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) May 23, 2021

As German foreign minister Heiko Maas points out, the fact that this was an Irish airline operating a flight between two EU member state, makes yesterday’s action particularly without precedent.

Statement by Foreign Minister Maas on the diversion of Ryanair flight FR4978 to Minsk ???? pic.twitter.com/XKnnDRrmve

— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) May 23, 2021

Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney put it more strongly agatin, describing the actions as “state-sponsored… aviation piracy”.

Minister for Foreign Affairs @simoncoveney has described the forced landing of a Ryanair plane in the Belarus capital, Minsk, as ‘state-sponsored’ ‘aviation piracy’.

He told @morningireland that the EU has to give ‘a very clear response’ | Read more: https://t.co/sYKLZATgeL pic.twitter.com/FC0VECZjID

— RTÉ News (@rtenews) May 24, 2021

The Chair of the British parliamentary foreign affairs committee Tom Tugendhat along with seven other chairmen of the foreign committees issued a joint statement to stop flights over Belarus, an ICAO investigation and a demand that political prisoners be released.

We are calling for @NATO and @EU_Commission to:
1️⃣Stop flights over Belarus
2️⃣@icao to investigate
3️⃣Demand political prisoners [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]_roettgen [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] ???????? pic.twitter.com/o96qKU7Iyo

— Tom Tugendhat (@TomTugendhat) May 24, 2021