Belarus secret police are believed to have been current when a dissident journalist was detained when his airplane was diverted to Minsk, the pinnacle of the Irish airline stated on Monday.
Roman Protasevich was held on Sunday after a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius was intercepted by a Belarusian fighter jet and diverted to the capital of Minsk, state TV reported.
“It appears the intent of the authorities was to remove a journalist and his travelling companion,” Ryanair chief govt Michael O’Leary advised Ireland’s Newstalk radio.
“We believe there were some (Belarusian security agency) KGB agents offloaded at the airport as well.”
Dublin-headquartered Ryanair is famend for extremely low-cost, short-haul flights throughout the continental bloc.
Favoured by finances holidaymakers, the provider is an unlikely participant in a high-stakes diplomatic disaster.
“I think it’s the first time it’s happened to a European airline,” O’Leary stated.
“It was a state-sponsored hijacking, it was state-sponsored piracy.”
The Irish authorities additionally blamed Belarus for the diversion and referred to as for a tricky response from Brussels.
“We cannot allow this incident to pass on the basis of warnings or strong press releases,” Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney advised state broadcaster RTE.
“I think there has to be real edge to the sanctions that are applied on the back of this.”
EU leaders are to satisfy in a while Monday and are anticipated to toughen sanctions in opposition to the jap European state.
“It was an Irish airline, a plane that was registered in Poland, full of EU nationals, travelling between two EU capitals,” Coveney stated.
“This can only be described as aviation piracy,” he added.
“I think the EU has to give a very clear response to it otherwise we’re giving all the wrong signals.”
“We demand an immediate international investigation,” exiled Belarus opposition chief Svetlana Tikhanovskaya advised RTE.
“The escalation of violence in Belarus is the result of impunity, so we have to put much more pressure on the regime.”
Protasevich’s buddy, Franak Viacorka in the meantime advised BBC radio in London there was “no possibility of coincidence… no possibility that this plane was moved to Minsk because of other reasons”.
Viacorka stated he was in contact together with his buddy earlier than he left Athens and stated Protasevich was involved that he was being adopted within the airport.
“I can’t imagine what’s happening to him right now,” he added.
“His girlfriend was arrested with him. She’s a Russian citizen. They both were taken on the same flight… They will be taking revenge, they will be punishing them both.”
(This story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)