The President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko against the background of the situation with the emergency landing of the Ryanair flight said that there is an attempt by the West to shake the situation in the republic to the level of August 2020.

“There is an attempt to shake the situation to the level of August last year… It is simply clear what these Western friends want from us. What is there to discuss? But there are no heights that the Bolsheviks did not take. We will take it,” Lukashenko said in Sochi during talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

A Ryanair plane flying from Athens to Vilnius on May 23 urgently landed at the Minsk airport due to a report of mining, which was later not confirmed. This plane was flown by Roman Protasevich, the founder of the Telegram channel Nexta, recognized as an extremist in Belarus. He was detained while checking documents on previously initiated criminal cases against him under several articles, including the article “organization of mass riots”. He could face up to 15 years in prison. Following the discussion of Belarus, EU leaders on Monday made a political decision to ban flights of Belarusian aircraft in European airspace, and also recommended that European airlines avoid flights over Belarus. The EU called for the adoption of new sanctions on Belarus as soon as possible in connection with the air accident. Now the decision of the EU leaders needs technical approval at the ministerial level. In response, Belarus said that the message about the mining of the plane was sent to the email address of the Minsk airport. The commander of the crew himself decided to land in Minsk, there can be no question of any coercion, turning the aircraft around, said the commander of the Belarusian Air Force and air defense forces Igor Golub. On May 25, the aviation department of the Ministry of Transport of Belarus published a transcript of a conversation with the Belarusian dispatcher of the pilot of the Ryanair plane. The transcript does not contain any threats from the dispatcher to the crew.