Merkel says EU plans to expand economic sanctions against Lukashenka’s regime

German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently said that the EU had decided to extend economic sanctions against Belarus, while the EU blacklist would include new names and organizations, BBC News reports.

Merkel called the actions of the Belarusian authorities, which had forced the Ryanair plane to land in Minsk on May 23, unprecedented and unacceptable. She noted that this landing “put people in danger” and led to the arrest of journalist Raman Pratasevich and his girlfriend. “We call on Belarus to release both of them immediately,” Merkel was quoted by Radio Liberty.

Merkel also said that as of the day before, there was no evidence of Russian involvement in the forced landing of the plane.