Slovenia condemns forcible jet landing in Belarus
Ljubljana – Senior Slovenian officials have condemned actions by Belarus after a Rynair flight was forced to land in Minsk. Prime Minister Janez Janša voiced support for sanctions, while President Borut Pahor and the Foreign Ministry called for an independent investigation.
Janša wrote on Twitter on Monday that he supported a proposal by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki for an expansion of the agenda of today’s summit of EU leaders. “Sanctions have to include everything the #Lukashenko #regime is using to legitimize itself. Sports events included.”
Pahor tweeted that he “condemns the conduct of the Belarusian authorities” and was in favour of “an independent investigation of the event.”
The Foreign Ministry said on Twitter yesterday that the conduct by the Belarusian authorities was “absolutely unacceptable.” “Slovenia calls for the immediate release of all passengers and independent intl investigation,” it said.
Speaking for the Kanal A commercial TV channel on Monday, Foreign Minister Anže Logar labelled the incident as state terrorism, as it violated practically all international customs and norms.
According to him, the EU must send a very resolute message that it would not tolerate something like this, including by increasing sanctions and considering closing air traffic above Belarus and preventing Belarusian aircraft from landing in the EU.
The international community must also ensure safety of Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and all persons who strive for democratic processes in Belarus, Logar added.
In the wake of the diversion of a Lithuania-bound flight to Minsk and detention of one of its passengers, opposition activist and reporter Roman Protasevich, the Association of Slovenian Journalists (DNS) also condemned what it sees as unacceptable actions by the Belarusian authorities.
The association called for the release of the reporter and his girlfriend as well as the release of 28 other journalists and media workers who are currently in detention in Belarus.
According to data by the European Federation of Journalists, the number of detained reporters in Belarus has almost doubled in only a few days, the DNS warned, urging concrete measures by the EU to respond to the alarming developments.
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