EU Bans Belarus Airlines From Its Airspace After Journalist’s Arrest

The ambassadors of the member states of the European Union today approved a ban on the entry of Belarusian airlines into the EU airspace and their landing at EU airports. At the same time, the recommendation not to use Belarus’ airspace should apply to EU carriers. Reuters reported, referring to three diplomatic sources.

The approved measures are to apply from midnight. EU diplomats today confirmed the conclusions of the May EU summit, at which EU presidents and prime ministers agreed to adopt targeted sanctions against Belarus in response to the forced landing of a civilian flight in Minsk in May.

On board the plane was a journalist and activist Raman Pratasevich, who was detained along with a girlfriend after a forced landing of a Ryanair plane bound for from Greece to Lithuania, a flight between two member states of the European bloc. A journalist criticizing the regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is now in custody.

The suspension of flights over Belarus was previously announced by some airlines, including CSA, and a number of countries, including the Czech Republic, have banned Belavia Airlines from operating over its territory.