The British government has urged airlines to avoid Belarusian airspace after an Irish airliner was diverted to land in Belarus’ capital Minsk on Sunday with a bomb warning and the opponents were arrested.
Secretary of Transportation Grant Shapp said he had instructed the Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA) to make a request to the airline.
“Yesterday, after the @ Ryanair aircraft was forcibly diverted to Minsk, we instructed @UK_CAA to require airlines to avoid Belarusian airspace to keep passengers safe,” said Shapps. I am. twitter..
“I have also suspended my business license in Belarus,” he added, referring to Belarus’ state-owned airline.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonite said earlier Monday that he would work with Lithuanian international partners to close Belarus’ airspace to international flights.
Belarus’ ambassador to the United Kingdom, Maxim Jermorovich, was also summoned to the Foreign Ministry after the incident, according to Foreign Minister Dominic Raab.
The flight detoured on Sunday by Belarusian opposition journalist Raman Platasevic was on the way from Athens, Greece to Vilnius, Lithuania, when the fighters escorted to land in Minsk.
Platasevic was arrested in Minsk after the plane landed.
According to the Belarusian news agency, President Alexander Lukashenko personally ordered an escort.
The case has caused anger from the United States and European countries, and its leaders say they are coordinating responses, including sanctions.
A Lithuanian Prime Minister spokesman said on Monday that information from Ryanair suggests that 126 passengers left the Greek capital and 121 arrived in Lithuania.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said he believed that the “KGB Agent” had also been dropped from a Minsk aircraft earlier in the day.
When asked by Congress about Russia’s involvement, Raab did not rule out that possibility.
“We don’t have clear details about it, and I note what I say at this point,” Rab replied Scottish National Party MP Alyn Smith.
“But like him [(Smith)] It’s hard to believe that this kind of action was taken, at least without the acquiescence of the Moscow authorities, but as I say, it’s still unclear, “Rab told Congress.
The Kremlin denied involvement.
“I don’t know, I can’t say anything. I don’t have any information,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media.
After a reporter asked Belarusian opponents about Russia’s allegations of involvement in the operation, Peskov replied: “This is the last thing I want to comment on. There is no information about who was there. You see:” They say. “
A spokesman also said Russia “now does not want to participate in this competition to blame or support something.”
On Monday afternoon, Belarusian officials claimed that the threat of the bomb on Sunday came from a group of Hamas terrorists.
Also, on Monday afternoon, the University of Vilnius, Lithuania, said student Sophia Sapega was also detained in the same case.
Reuters and PA contributed to this report.