EU Freezes €3B Aid To Belarus After Ryanair Incident
The European Union has frozen a €3bn investment package to Belarus. According to the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the decision will remain in force until the state becomes democratic. She said that the former head of Nexta, Roman Protasevich, who was detained after the emergency landing of a Ryanair plane, should be released immediately.
We will put pressure on the regime until it finally respects freedom of media and opinion, von der Leyen told Reuters.
The head of the European Commission said that in connection with the incident, the EU is considering imposing sanctions of various kinds: against individuals involved in the landing of the plane, as well as against businesses, economic enterprises and the aviation sector. According to her, the EU response will be very tough.
On 23 May, a Ryanair airline flight from Athens to Vilnius grounded in Minsk. According to the official information, the decision was made due to the report of a bomb on board. The EU has reacted sharply negative to the incident. In particular, the UK ordered airlines not to fly over Belarus, and Lithuania refused to accept planes that flew over the country.