After the UN, it is the G7 which goes to the front this Thursday against Belarus. The foreign ministers of Germany, Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom “strongly condemned” the arrest by Belarus of opposition journalist Roman Protassevich and his partner. They demanded his “immediate and unconditional release” as well as that of his wife and other journalists and political prisoners in the country.
In a statement, the heads of diplomacy of the G7 countries denounced the “endangering of the safety of passengers and crew” of the flight diverted to Minsk, which represents “a serious breach of the rules governing civil aviation “, And protested against a” serious attack on freedom of the press “.
“We will redouble our efforts, in particular by imposing new sanctions so that the Belarusian authorities have to answer for their acts”, they added. They also called on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which meets on Thursday, to “urgently meet this challenge to its rules and standards”.
“We will use all the tools at our disposal so that the regime” of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko “is accountable”, underlined on Twitter the British Minister of Foreign Affairs Dominic Raab, while the United Kingdom, which chairs this year the G7, is preparing to host the summit of heads of state and government from June 11 in Cornwall (south-west of England).
Belarusian President says he “acted legally”
Alexander Lukashenko sparked outrage among Westerners by sending a fighter plane on Sunday to intercept a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius, on which the Belarusian dissident journalist Roman Protassevich and his friend Sofia Sapega were traveling, who were arrested.
Faced with an avalanche of Western condemnations and new EU sanctions against the regime he has ruled since 1994, the Belarusian president said on Wednesday, in front of a crowd of dignitaries, that he had “acted legally”.