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“Outrageous”: Joe Biden Condemns Belarus Forced Plane Landing, Backs Sanctions

I’ve requested my crew to develop choices to carry accountable these accountable, Biden stated. (File)

Washington:

US President Joe Biden slammed Belarus on Monday for the “outrageous” act of forcing a flight from Greece to Lithuania to land in Minsk the place a dissident journalist onboard was arrested.

“This outrageous incident and the video Mr. Pratasevich appears to have made under duress are shameful assaults on both political dissent and the freedom of the press,” Biden stated, utilizing another spelling of the activist’s identify, after Belarusian TV broadcast video of Roman Protasevich “confessing” to prices of organizing mass unrest.

“I welcome the news that the European Union has called for targeted economic sanctions and other measures, and have asked my team to develop appropriate options to hold accountable those responsible,” Biden added in his assertion.

Belarus’s strongman chief Alexander Lukashenko sparked worldwide outrage by dispatching a fighter jet Sunday to intercept the Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius carrying Protasevich, 26, and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega.

EU leaders agreed Monday to chop air hyperlinks with Belarus, and the bloc stated it could undertake additional “targeted economic sanctions” in opposition to Belarusian authorities so as to add to the 88 regime figures and 7 firms already on a blacklist over a crackdown on opposition.

The TV footage confirmed Protasevich — who may face 15 years in jail — with darkish markings on his brow, saying he was being handled “according to the law.”

“The United States joins countries around the world in calling for his release, as well as for the release of the hundreds of political prisoners who are being unjustly detained by the Lukashenka regime,” Biden stated.

The White House added that National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had spoken to exiled opposition chief Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, to convey “the United States’ strong support for the demands of the Belarusian people for democracy, human rights, and fundamental freedoms.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)


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