EU bans Belarus flights

Brussels 07.06.2021 The Council on Juin 4 has decided to strengthen the existing restrictive measures in view of the situation in Belarus by introducing a ban on the overflight of EU airspace and on access to EU airports by Belarusian carriers of all kinds. (Image above: illustration).

EU member states will therefore be required to deny permission to land in, take off from or overfly their territories to any aircraft operated by Belarusian air carriers, including as a marketing carrier.

Today’s decision follows up on the European Council conclusions of 24 and 25 May 2021, in which EU heads of state and government strongly condemned the unlawful forced landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk on 23 May 2021 endangering aviation safety.

The conclusions also condemned the detention by Belarusian authorities of journalist Roman Protasevich and Sofia Sapega, and called on the Council to adopt the necessary measures, including additional listings of persons and entities on the basis of the relevant sanctions framework, and further targeted economic sanctions.

“We renew our call in the strongest terms to release all political prisoners in Belarus” the president of the EU Council Charles Michel wrote in his Twitter micro blog.

Further sanctions on entities and individuals following rapidly in response to the interception of a passenger jet by Belarus, EU leaders on demanded the release of opposition activist Roman Protasevich and his companion, Sofia Sapega, Russian citizen, and called for a barrage of new sanctions against the government of strongman Alexander Lukashenko.

EU governments, which described the incident as state piracy, say they are looking at targeting sectors that play a central role in the Belarus economy, to inflict real punishment on President Alexander Lukashenko. They could include bond sales, the oil sector and potash, a big Belarusian export.

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