Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday defended a choice by Belarusian authorities to divert a Ryanair passenger flight carrying an opposition activist who was arrested.
The flight from Athens to Vilnius was compelled to land within the Belarus capital Minsk Sunday on the orders of strongman Alexander Lukashenko following a supposed bomb scare.
One of the flight’s passengers, wished opposition activist Roman Protasevich, was detained in Minsk airport.
Western leaders referred to as the incident an “act of state terrorism” and the EU was anticipated Monday to toughen sanctions in opposition to Belarus.
Lavrov informed journalists that Belarus had handled the incident with an “absolutely reasonable approach”.
“A representative of the Belarusian foreign ministry… stressed the readiness of the Belarusian authorities to act on the issue in a transparent manner and to follow all international rules,” Lavrov stated throughout a press convention following a gathering together with his Greek counterpart.
“I think this is an absolutely reasonable approach.”
He referred to as on the worldwide neighborhood to “soberly assess the situation”.
Earlier Monday, authorities in Belarus insisted they’d acted legally after they diverted the flight. They as an alternative accused the West of constructing unfounded claims for political causes.
Protasevich, 26, is a Belarusian journalist and activist.
Together with co-founder Stepan Putilo he had till just lately run the Nexta telegram channel that galvanised and directed enormous protests in opposition to Lukashenko’s disputed re-election to a sixth time period in August 2020.
Last 12 months, Protasevich and Putilo have been accused by Belarusian authorities of numerous crimes together with organising mass riots. Protasevich left the Nexta challenge final 12 months.
He faces a sentence of as much as 15 years in Belarus.
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