European Planes Skirt Belarus Amid Fury At Journalist Arrest

In this handout photo released by European Radio for Belarus, Belarus journalist Raman Pratasevich poses for a photo in front of sign in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. Western outrage grew and the European Union threatened more sanctions Monday over the forced diversion of a plane to Belarus in order to arrest an opposition journalist. The dramatic gambit apparently ordered by the country's authoritarian president to suppress dissent was denounced as piracy, a hijacking and terrorism. (Euroradio via AP)

(AP) — European airlines were skirting Belarus after the European Union urged them to do so and imposed new sanctions against the ex-Soviet nation. Those moves were to punish Belarus for the forced diversion of a passenger jet to arrest an opposition journalist. EU leaders agreed Monday to ban Belarusian airlines from using the airspace and airports of the 27-nation bloc, imposed sanctions on officials linked to Sunday’s flight diversion, and urged the International Civil Aviation Organization to start an investigation into the episode. Belarus’ Transport Ministry said Tuesday that it has invited representatives of the international aviation organization and U.S. and EU authorities to investigate.


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