The decision to ban the use of airspace over the European Union by Belarusian airlines, as well as the landing of their aircraft at EU airports, has been approved.
According to Reuters, citing diplomats, the decision comes into force at midnight, but objections from any country are given a deadline of 14.00. However, according to sources in Brussels, those are not expected. The ambassadors of the EU member states were surprisingly unanimous.
An important decree is part of a package of sanctions imposed against Belarus in connection with the forced landing of a Ryanair plane at Minsk airport, in order to arrest a pro-government journalist on that flight.
Belavia operates flights to 20 European airports in Europe: Helsinki, Milan, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Munich, Berlin, Rome, Paris, Vienna and others. Air France, Lufthansa, Finnair, SAS, airBaltic, LOT have already announced the termination of flights over Belarus.
The control over the ban, approved today, is entrusted to the governments of the countries of the European Union. Many are NATO members with the ability to use military aircraft to reliably protect their skies from unwanted air traffic.
On June 1, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, at a press conference after the meeting of the Alliance Foreign Ministers, said that NATO is in a single position with the European Union regarding the emergency landing of a Ryanair aircraft in Minsk and supports sanctions on Belarus.