The Greek Civil Aviation Authority has categorically denied reports of a threat on the plane that landed in Minsk, Belarus.
“Totally false, non-existent and completely misleading,” the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) describes in a statement the information released from Athens International Airport or the Greek authorities about the existence of any threat on a Ryanair flight to Belarus.
The Civil Aviation Authority said the following:
“All necessary security checks have been carried out, i. E. passengers, carry-on luggage and luggage, in accordance with the provisions of the approved security program of Athens International Airport, and there were no signs of any problems. ” “All security procedures went well and the plane took off to its destination at 10:15. While he was in the Greek FIR, there were no reports of a threat from the crew, as well as from any other natural or legal person. ” “There was no information or indication to the CAA of Athens International Airport and the State Aviation Administration AIA from an individual or service about the existence of a threat on a specific flight FR4978 ATH at VNO on 23 December. 05-21 “. “Any relevant information was received by all of the above services through the media and the Internet after the plane landed in Minsk.” Lukashenka: I would once again give an order for an emergency landing
Whether there was a bomb or not, if I was told that there was a terrorist on the plane, I would immediately give the order to land the plane.
Lukashenko said that the message about the mining of Ryanair came from Switzerland. According to him, he “acted lawfully, protecting people in accordance with all international rules”:
What should we have done, especially against the backdrop of a cascade of threats to mine our facilities? You live in Belarus and you know: every day schools, universities, and enterprises are mined. And planes from IP addresses in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. In each case, we responded adequately to the information received.
Lukashenka also touched upon the forced landing of a Ryanair plane flying from Athens to Vilnius, stating:
Forcing the liner to land by a MiG-29 fighter is an absolute lie!
He explained that the tasks of the fighter include providing communications and, in a critical situation, taking a passenger aircraft for landing. And about the three “extra” passengers, who preferred not to continue the flight and stay in Minsk, he spoke sharply: “They were made fake KGB officers.” Although, according to Lukashenka, the forced landing simply made it easier for them, since they initially planned to fly from Vilnius to Minsk.
The Belarusian leader also called the version of the forced retention of the crew and passengers “another delirium”, stressing that, despite the permission given by the authorities to continue the flight, they were in no hurry to leave the airport, holding lengthy telephone conversations with someone.
And in the end he complained about the protests in the country that erupted after last year’s presidential elections – no state in the world “has faced such a multi-faceted, multi-level terror.”
The address of Belarusian President Lukashenko was not broadcast live on television or radio. His words are quoted by the state media only in text format.