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EU calls for international probe after Ryanair plane makes emergency landing in Minsk

ANI | Updated: May 24, 2021 02:58 IST

Brussels [Belgium], May 24 (ANI/Sputnik): President of the European Council Charles Michel called for an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) probe into an emergency landing of a Ryanair passenger plane at Minsk Airport over a bomb threat that later turned out to be fake.
An unregistered Belarusian human rights organization said earlier in the day that Roman Protasevich -- founder of a telegram channel that Minsk designated as extremist -- was on board of a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius and got detained in Minsk airport when the plane made an emergency landing. The Belarusian Interior Ministry confirmed the detention of Protasevich.
"Very concerned regarding reports of a forced landing of #Ryanair flight in Minsk. We call on Belarus authorities to immediately release the flight and all its passengers. An #ICAO investigation of the incident will be essential," Michel said on Twitter.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas also called on the EU to conduct an international investigation into the emergency landing of the Ryanair plane in Minsk.
"Absolutely inexplicable and shocking reports from #Belarus about detaining Roman Protasevich and forcing the @Ryanair plane to land. All passengers should be immediately released and a thorough international investigation should follow. EU must take a stand together @EUCouncil," she tweeted.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg slammed Minsk's actions as "dangerous" and noted that the incident will require further investigations.
The calls for an investigation were supported by acting Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, French Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, and President of the European Council Charles Michel.
They were later joined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which strongly condemned "any interference or requirement for landing of civil aviation operations that is inconsistent with the rules of international law" and stressed the need for a full investigation by competent international authorities. (ANI/Sputnik)