Belarus: NATO negotiates sanctions after aircraft diversion | Political News


Stoltenberg said that Belarus will be punished for the transfer of flights because the militants stabbed themselves in a Minsk court in shock.

On Wednesday, Belarus faced increasing pressure as the NATO chairman called for sanctions after the controversial flight transfer in Minsk and was shocked by an activist’s apparent suicide attempt in court.

On May 23, Belarus escorted a Ryanair plane to Minsk in an emergency by a military aircraft, and then arrested the wanted activist Roman Protasevich and his partner on the plane. Belarus stated that it had been notified of the bomb threat, but many people in the West believed that the transfer was for the imprisonment of Protasevich.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday that some members of the Transatlantic Security Alliance are considering further actions after the European Union and the United States took measures against Belarus.

Stoltenberg told reporters during a visit to London to meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson: “I think the most important thing now is to ensure that the agreed sanctions are fully implemented.”

“It must be clear that when a regime like the Minsk regime acts in their way and violates basic international norms and rules, we will impose a price on them.”

Obvious suicide attempt in court

Before Stoltenberg’s remarks, a Belarusian activist stabbed himself in the neck during a court hearing on Tuesday. He was reportedly told that if he pleaded not guilty, his family and neighbors would face prosecution. .

The RFE/RL footage shows Stepan Latypov lying on a wooden bench in a cage in a courthouse in the capital Minsk, with the police standing beside him and bystanders screaming.

After the incident, Ratbov was taken to the hospital. The Belarusian health authorities reported that he was in stable condition after the operation.

The 41-year-old man was arrested in September during the suppression of large-scale anti-government protests. The demonstrations broke out in response to a controversial election that allowed President Alexander Lukashenko to be re-elected.

Ratbov stood in front of a mural in Minsk to prevent the authorities from painting on opposition graffiti.

He was accused of organizing riots, resisting the police and fraud. The national television report also accused him of planning to poison the police.

He denied any wrongdoing.

According to Viasna-96, in court, Latypov stabbed his throat with an object similar to a pen.

Svyatlana Zihanusskaya, leader of the exile of the Belarusian opposition, said that Ratbov’s actions were “the result of Belarusian state terror, repression and torture.”

Consequences of aircraft diversion

Minsk diverted the plane carrying Protasevich. The plane flew from Greece to Lithuania, but was in Belarusian airspace when it was forced to land. This aroused international anger. The European Union banned Belarusian aircraft from entering EU airspace.

The EU also urges airlines to avoid flying over this former Soviet country.

But Wizz Air’s chief executive warned on Wednesday that the EU’s response had a negative impact on the aviation industry, saying they made the industry a “political toy” and could undermine its efforts to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I don’t think this is the correct response,” Joszef Varadi told Reuters. “I think aviation should not be used as a means of political sanctions.

“Nothing happened that would endanger flight safety or security.

“I don’t think anyone is safe for a second. This is a political measure. This is not a security measure.”

Minsk accused Protasevich of helping to plan last year’s anti-government rally.

The Lukashenko government has since banned dissent and arrested opposition activists and protesters.

All major opposition figures are now detained or exiled, and some independent media organizations have been closed.


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