Wednesday, October 27

The EU freezes 3,000 million in cooperation with Belarus for the “hijacking of the Ryanair plane”


Brussels

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The European Commission has today decided to freeze 3,000 million euros already approved for cooperation projects with Belarus as a first step to “make Alexander Lukashenko understand the severe consequences” of the “hijacking of the Ryanair company plane”, according to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. Von der Leyen has confirmed this decision upon his arrival at the European Council in which community leaders are going to address an incident that leaders such as the Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, they have described as “act of terrorism”. All have called for the immediate and unconditional release of the detained dissident, Roman Protasevich. The High Representative Josep Borrell It has also considered it an “unacceptable fact that cannot be left without consequences.”

The leaders of the European Union who have arrived in Brussels this afternoon plan a resounding response against the Belarusian regime for the attack on a passenger plane, including the total isolation of the country by air and rail. The extraordinary meeting was already scheduled in advance and in it the heads of state or government planned to talk about relations with Russia, also plagued by tensions.

In the case of Belarus, diplomatic sources speak of “a package of measures, beyond simple individual sanctions” that are already in force against certain leaders of the Belarusian regime, including the dictator Alexander Lukashenko. To begin with, several countries have already sent a request to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to open an investigation into what happened. Community leaders for their part are working on a suspension of overflights of the territory of Belarus by European airlines, as well as a ban on the Belarusian national company, Belavia, from landing at European airports. Some countries like Poland and Lithuania They have also called for a ban on Belarusian trains leaving the country for the West. Von der Leyen has also said that new sanctions will be analyzed against personalities and economic entities that support the regime.

The summit was to focus on a vision of relations with Russia, very tense due to the political repression by Vladimir Putin and the arrest of the dissident Alexei Navalny.

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, declared “very concerned” by the event that the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, defined as “scandalous and illegal behavior” that will have “consequences.” The Secretary General of NATO, Jens StoltenbergHe said he is also closely monitoring “this is a serious and dangerous incident that requires an international investigation.”

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