The White House announced, on Saturday, that Washington will re-impose sanctions on 9 institutions owned byBelarus government As of June 3, in response to the interception of a civilian aircraft to arrest an opposition journalist.
In a statement detailing these punitive measures, US presidential spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “The dispatch by the regime of President Alexander Lukashenko of a warplane to force the European Ryanair plane to cut off its international flight and land at Minsk airport, where the Belarusian journalist and opposition activist Roman Protasevich was arrested represents A direct affront to international standards.”
She also added that the sanctions target nine Belarusian state-owned companies and key members of the Lukashenko regime, noting that imposing further sanctions on Minsk is still an option.
A few days ago, the European Union decided to close its airspace to Belarusian airlines.
At a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, the leaders of the 27 member states of the European Union agreed to ban the bloc’s airlines from using Belarusian airspace, vowing to impose new economic sanctions on them.
Roman Protacevic – archive
Belarusian dissident Roman Protacevic, 26, was on a flight from Greece to Lithuania when the plane was forced to divert due to a suspected bomb on board.
Western countries accused Belarus of hijacking the European Ryanair airliner.
US President Joe Biden described the Belarusian actions as… “a scandalous move”He said they were “shameful attacks on political opposition and freedom of the press.”
And the opposition “Nexta” media network confirmed last week that its former editor-in-chief Roman Protacevic was arrested after the plane operated by “Ryan Air” landed on its way from Athens to Lithuania.
The station also added that the plane was searched, and no bomb was found, indicating that all passengers were subjected to a security check.
Last November, the Belarusian authorities put Protasevich on the list of “individuals involved in terrorist activities”.