Belarus expels Lativa diplomats

Brussels 24.05.2021 Belarus is expelling the Ambassador of Latvia H.E. Einars Semanis, he was asked to leave the country within 24 hours. This was announced by the head of the Belarusian diplomacy Vladimir Makei.

“The Latvian ambassador was invited to the Foreign Ministry in connection with the insult of the state flag of Belarus in Riga,” Makei explained.

Together wit the Ambassador, Belarus expels the entire Embassy staff, ​​with the exception of one administrative officer who is allowed to stay in Minsk.

Explaining the actions of Minsk in relation to the Ambassador of Latvia, Makei called the reaction of politicians of a number of Western countries to the situation with the plane “coordinated actions and a planned provocation.” At the same time, Makei noted that Minsk does not exclude a response from Riga.

The head of the Belarus diplomacy has underlined that no country has yet requested information from Belarus on the incident with Ryanair.

The down spiral of the diplomatic raw in the aftermath of the Belarus journalist Roman Protasevich, 26, (pictured above) arrest continues. Protasevich was returning to Vilnius from an economic conference in Greece with Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, Greek officials explained.

The RyanAir flight, which had been carrying some 170 passengers, should have taken about three hours. As it approached the border between Belarus and Lithuania, a MiG-29 fighter jet was sent to intercept it. After the forced landing Protasevich has been arrested. There is also an information that the other activist with Russian citizenship, travelling with the same board was detained in Minsk.

Alexander Lukashenko, 66, who is often referred to as “Europe’s last dictator,” personally ordered the fighter jet to escort the Ryanair plane to the Minsk airport after a bomb threat, his press service said. According to the statement, Lukashenko, an ally of President Vladimir Putin of Russia, gave an “unequivocal order” to “make the plane do a U-turn and land.”

The EU Council president Charles Michel has defined the incident as an “international scandal”, pointing out that the forceful landing of the civil aircraft was compromising safety and security of all passengers on board and the EU is going to discuss this issue first at the ongoing Summit of the leaders of 27 to ensure the adequate response: “What happened yesterday in #Belarus is an international scandal. It endangered the lives of civilians & threatens international security. We will discuss different options of sanctions today at #EUCO. A strong reaction is needed” Michel said at the doorstep of the meeting in Brussels.

Russia supports Ryanair highjack

Brussels 24.05.2021 Anna van Densky OPINION The defence of Belarus President Lukashenko actions, which have been already defined by some of the EU politicians as “state terrorism”, indicated that Russia has been informed or, even engaged in this operation, which also can lead to a suggestion the the liberation of Protasevich and the other political prisoners in Belarus would be possible through an asymmetric answer. The extensive presence of Russians at French Riviera, purchasing luxury mansions and palaces could become an key to the liberation of all political prisoners in Belarus, just through questioning the sources of their wealth.

“There is no reason why Western countries should be shocked by the Ryanair flight incident, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook on Monday, May 24, clearly defending the actions of Alexandar Lukashenko, who sent MiG29 jet to force civil aircraft landing with purpose of kidnapping the Belarus opposition journalist Roman Protasevich.

“What is shocking is that the West has described the incident in Belarusian airspace as shocking. The so-called civilised democracies’ tendency to follow the ‘quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi’ principle has long been irrelevant because the former leaders have lost leadership skills. The blood and suffering of millions of people across the world have yanked the pedestal from under Western demagogues, from where they have been preaching,” Zakharova has underlined.

“Or, they should be shocked by everything, including the moves to force down the Bolivian president’s plane in Austria at the United States’ request and the Belarusian aircraft carrying an anti-Maidan activist. Otherwise, such behavior should not come as a shock to them,” the Russian diplomat emphasized.

During Ryanair flight to Vilnius that took off from Athens was forced to make an emergency landing at Minsk International Airport on Sunday, May 23, after a reported bomb threat, which came up empty. The Belarusian Investigative Committee has launched a criminal case into the false bomb threat. Minsk’s federal authorities specified that Roman Protasevich, wanted in Belarus as a co-founder of the Nexta Telegram channel deemed extremist, had been among the flight’s passengers. He was detained by law enforcement officers, media reports said.

A joint investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, and the French Le Monde revealed the extent to which one of Russia’s most infamous oligarchs — Putin’s childhood friend Boris Rotenberg — is entrenched in the French Riviera. However he was not the only one. Would the EU show the political will for Protasevich liberation start questioning Russians wealth sources at French Riviera?