New EU sanctions against Belarus: will not use its airspace

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As the EU leaders’ summit in Brussels continues, EU officials shared the Belarus part of the statement on which leaders debating the Belarus issue have agreed.

As a result, the EU Council, formed by the leaders, yesterday condemned the “forced landing” of the passenger plane on the Athens-Vilnius flight to Minsk, the capital of Belarus, on the grounds of ‘a bomb notice. The council called for the immediate release of opposition journalist Raman Pratasevic and his girlfriend, who were among the passengers and were arrested.

The leaders called the incident “unprecedented and unacceptable” and urged the International Civil Aviation Organization to open an investigation.

The leaders’ statement called for the imposition of new sanctions to include Belarusian officials and sectoral targets, and for airlines established in the EU not to pass through Belarus.

The statement also called on Belarusian airlines to ban EU airspace and prevent their planes from accessing EU airports.

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