The Belarusian Ministry of Transport Affairs has set up a commission to investigate the military-enforced landing of a Ryanair plane in Minsk’s capital.
On Sunday, the Belarusian authorities flew a jet fighter near the plane and issued a false bomb threat to force a Ryanair plane to land. They then arrested Roman Protasevich, a journalist who criticizes the government. He was on the plane.
The incident and the arrest have been met with great fury internationally. The European Union has called for an international investigation and is discussing possible sanctions against Belarus on Monday. Ireland’s Foreign Minister called the Belarus action “piracy”.
British lower house member Tom Tugendhat spoke of an action that resembles an act of war.
The Belarusian state aviation agency said on Monday that its air traffic controllers have only issued “recommendations” to the crew of the Ryanair plane that was diverted to Minsk. No threats would have been made to force the landing. The plane was on its way from Athens to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.