The Heads of State and Government decided to impose further sanctions on the representatives of the Belarusian regime, as well as economic sanctions on Belarus. The EU airspace is also to be closed to Belarusian airlines. 

 

The heads of state and government decided to impose further sanctions on the representatives of the Belarusian regime, as well as economic sanctions on Belarus. The EU airspace is also to be closed to Belarusian airlines.

 

The EU leaders also condemned Belarus forcing a Ryanair plane to land in Minsk and the detention of journalist Raman Pratasevich by Belarusian authorities.

 

"I would like to note with satisfaction that the proposals that we had formulated regarding this act of state terrorism in connection also with the completely unauthorized arrest of two Belarusian citizens, these proposals were adopted by the European Council,” - said Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

 

"Last night I asked the President of the European Council Charles Michel to put this item on the agenda of today's European Council, and after a couple of hours of discussion we came up with unambiguously worded desiderata, demands, tasks for the release of these wrongfully arrested people, as well as some kind of sanctions to stigmatize this act of state terrorism,” Morawiecki added.

 

According to the summit's decision, more representatives of the Belarusian regime are to be subjected to sanctions and this is to happen as soon as possible. The leaders also decided to impose new sectoral economic sanctions on Belarus.

 

The decisions by EU leaders are the consequences of Sunday's hijacking a Ryanair plane in Minsk that was flying from Athens to Vilnius. The pretext was an alleged bomb threat which, according to independent Belarusian media, was a provocation by the special services. The Belarusian authorities confirmed that they sent a fighter jet of the Belarusian armed forces MiG-29 towards the passenger machine.

 

Opposition journalist, blogger and activist Raman Pratasevich and his partner Sofia Sapiega, a Russian citizen, were detained on a Ryanair plane that was forced to land.