The heads of the leading factions of the European Parliament call the incident with the emergency landing in Minsk of the plane on the Athens-Vilnius flight “state terrorism.”
Manfred Weber, leader of the European People’s Party of the EP, says Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko “endangers civil air travel in Europe” and called it an act of state terrorism forced landing Ryanair aircraft in Minsk, TASS quotes his words following the politician’s interview to the Funke media group today:
Dictator [президент Белоруссии Александр] Lukashenko threatens civil air travel in Europe with his unacceptable act of state terrorism. A clear answer and decisive action by the heads of state and government of European countries are required. The forced landing of a civilian passenger aircraft en route between the two EU and NATO states is a new phenomenon. Thus, the leadership of Belarus directly encroaches on the existing international rules. European Council [заседение которого состоится 24-25 мая] must send an unambiguous signal that there is no place for such actions in Europe.
The same opinion is given by Annalena Berbock, head of the Union-90 / Greens, nominated by this party as a candidate for the post of Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. She described the situation as a “government hijacking of a passenger plane,” and tweeted:
The EU cannot accept this unprecedented escalation, a threat to our freedom in Europe and a significant threat to European civil aviation. We need a new package of EU sanctions, which will include measures, including against Belarusian state-owned companies, which form a support for Lukashenka and are included in the US sanctions list.
Greek Foreign Ministry published statement with strong condemnation of the act of government hijacking of Ryanair.