World Leaders Condemn Belarus ‘Hijacking’ of Ryanair Jet, Journalist Arrest

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    European Union leaders kicked off the process for adding more sanctions against Belarus and imposed an effective flight blockade on the country over the forced landing of a Ryanair Holdings Plc jet and the arrest of a dissident journalist.

    On the first of two days of summit talks in Brussels, the leaders asked the European Commission to propose Belarusian officials to be added to an existing blacklist and their ministers to come up with broader measures to target businesses and entire sectors of the country’s economy.

    A new round of sanctions could target the financial interests of President Alexander Lukashenko and his close family and associates, as well as businesses, an EU official said. The leaders also vowed to ban Belarusian Airlines from entering EU airspace and asked EU-based carriers to avoid flying over Belarus.

    The measures followed the forced landing of a Ryanair jet in Minsk and the arrest of 26-year-old Raman Pratasevich who was on board the flight from Athens to Vilnius. The leaders called on Lukashenko to release the journalist and on the International Civil Aviation Organization to investigate the incident.

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    In This Story: Belarus

    Belarus, officially the Republic of Belarus and formerly known as Byelorussia or Belorussia, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital and most populous city is Minsk.

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  • In This Story: Ryanair

    Ryanair DAC (LON: RYA) is a European Low-cost airline founded in Ireland in 1984. It is headquartered in Swords, Dublin, with its primary operational bases at Dublin and London Stansted airports. It forms the largest part of the Ryanair Holdings family of airlines, and has Ryanair UK, Buzz, and Malta Air as sister airlines.

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