“Acted Lawfully To Protect People”: Belarusian President Over Plane Diversion

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko stated “attacks” on his nation had crossed “red lines”. (File)

Minsk, Belarus:

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko stated Wednesday he had acted “lawfully to protect people” by diverting a Ryanair flight over Belarusian airspace, an act that sparked a world outcry.

The Athens-to-Vilnius flight carrying a needed opposition activist was pressured to make a touchdown in Minsk on Sunday over a supposed bomb scare, prompting a number of EU carriers to cease flights over Belarus.

“I acted lawfully to protect our people,” Lukashenko stated in an deal with to members of parliament, the Belta state-run information company reported.

The strongman chief, who has dominated over the ex-Soviet nation for over 20 years, additionally stated “attacks” on his nation had crossed “red lines”.

“As we predicted, our ill-wishers at home and abroad have changed their methods of attacking the state,” Lukashenko stated.

“They have crossed many red lines and crossed boundaries of common sense and human morality.”

Lukashenko added it was an “absolute lie” {that a} Mig-29 fighter jet pressured the flight to land in Minsk.

Lukashenko and his allies are underneath European and US sanctions over the violent crackdown on post-election protests that gripped the nation final yr.

Tens of 1000’s took to the streets to demand the resignation of 66-year-old Lukashenko, saying his election challenger Svetlana Tikhanovskaya was the true winner of the vote.

Tikhanovskaya fled to EU member Lithuania shortly after the election.

The European Union stated it was eyeing contemporary sanctions on Lukashenko’s regime after the airplane incident.

European leaders have additionally demanded the discharge of Roman Protasevich, the opposition activist who was on board the airplane and arrested by Belarus authorities in Minsk.

The 26-year-old activist co-ran the Nexta Telegram channels, distinguished voices of the opposition that helped mobilise and coordinate protesters.

He confronted as much as 15 years of jail on fees of organising mass unrest.

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

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