Defiant Belarus leader slams European Union sanctions on plane diversion

Defiant Belarus leader slams European Union sanctions on plane diversion

Defiant Belarus leader slams European Union sanctions on plane diversion

"Our ill-wishers at home and overseas have changed their methods of attacking the state", Mr. Lukashenko said.

Lukashenko alleged Wednesday that Pratasevich and his associates were working in cahoots with foreign spy agencies to "organize a massacre and a bloody rebellion in Belarus".

Lukashenko has faced unprecedented pressure at home with months of protests triggered by his re-election to a sixth term in an August 2020 vote that the opposition rejected as rigged. "There are no refutations yet", Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters after Lukashenko's speech.

"They're going to kill him in there".

Biden made the statement - and joined calls for an worldwide investigation - as the European Union imposed sanctions against Belarus, including banning its airlines from using the airspace and airports in the 27-nation bloc in reaction to Sunday's forced diversion of the Lithuania-bound Ryanair flight. He ran a popular messaging app that had a key role in helping organize the huge protests.

"Please, world, stand up and help, I beg you so much because they will kill him, they will kill him".

President Joe Biden on Monday said the forced diversion by Belarus of a commercial passenger jet so it could arrest an opposition journalist was "a direct affront to worldwide norms" and condemned the action as an "outrageous incident".

"They have moved from organising riots to strangulation".

"This outrageous incident and the video Mr. Pratasevich appears to have made under duress are shameful assaults on both political dissent and the freedom of the press", Biden said in a statement. In it, she says that she edits a Telegram channel - Black Book of Belarus - which publishes the personal information of security officials in the country.

Pratasevich, who fled to Lithuania in 2019, was charged in absentia with staging mass riots and fanning social hatred. Those carry a prison sentence of up to 15 years, and some fear Protasevich could face more serious charges, including some that carry the death penalty.

He threatened that Belarus would now retaliate by weakening its border controls that halt Western-bound illegal migration and drug trafficking. A senior DGCA official said: "Yes, we have also cautioned them (Indian carriers)". "We support measures taken by Allies individually and collectively in response to this incident", the statement said. "We must do everything to prevent it to become a real war".

European Union leaders on Monday warned they would adopt further "targeted economic sanctions" against the Belarusian authorities to add to the 88 regime figures and seven companies on a blacklist.

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