President Volodymyr Zelenky of Ukraine has instructed authorities to terminate flights with Belarus.
That's according to the President's Office's report released following Zelensky's meeting with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, NSDC Secretary Oleksiy Danilov, and other officials held on Monday.
Read alsoEU summons Belarus Ambassador over Ryanair incidentThe meeting precisely addressed the incident in the sky over Belarus where an Athens-Vilnius lfight by operated by Ryanair was forced to land in Minsk, the Belarus capital.
"Taking the latest developments into account, the president instructed the government to work out a decision to terminate direct flights between Ukraine and the Republic of Belarus and to close the Belarusian airspace for Ukraine's outbound and inbound flights," the report says.
Forced landing of Ryanair plane and Roman Protasevich's arrest
- On May 23, 2021, a Ryanair plane flying en route from Athens, Greece, to Vilnius, Lithuania, was diverted and forced to land at Minsk airport, Belarus. After landing, the country's authorities arrested co-founder of Telegram's opposition channel NEXTA, Roman Protasevich (Raman Pratasevich), who was on board the plane.
- Leader of the Belarusian opposition Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (Svetlana Tikhanovskaya) responded to the incident. "The regime forced the landing Ryanair plane in Minsk to arrest journalist and activist Raman Pratasevich. He faces the death penalty in Belarus. We demand immediate release of Raman, ICAO investigation, and sanctions against Belarus," she said on Twitter on May 23.
- There were immediate reports that President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko had sent a MiG-29 fighter jet to intercept the Ryanair plane with the ex-chief editor of NEXTA on board.
- That country's Defense Ministry confirmed the interception of the plane.
- President of the European Council Charles Michel insists it will be essential that ICAO investigate the Minsk incident.
- The European Union said the landing of a Ryanair plane flying en route from Athens, Greece, to Vilnius, Lithuania, had been forced by a Belarusian military aircraft.