European Union bans Belarusian airlines from accessing its airspace

This decision was taken after Belarus hijacked a Ryanair aircraft in May, citing a bomb threat to arrest an opponent.

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The measure comes into effect this Saturday. The European Union decided, Friday, June 4, to prohibit access to its airspace to Belarusian companies, two weeks after the Belarusian authorities’ decision to divert a plane carrying dissident journalist Roman Protassevich. The ban primarily concerns the national company Belavia.

“Further sanctions targeting entities and individuals will follow soon.”, warned the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, renewing a call for “release all political prisoners in Belarus”.

On Wednesday, European companies had already received instructions not to fly over Belarusian airspace, for reasons of “security”. A retaliatory measure denounced by the international association defending the interests of airlines, Iata, which sees it as a “retrograde and disappointing development” which comes down to “politicize aviation safety”.

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