On May 27, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union issued a joint statement regarding the recent diversion of the Ryanair carrier by the Lukashenka and framing two passengers by Belarusian security officers at Minsk Airport.
They condemned in the strongest terms ‘the unprecedented action’ by the Belarusian authorities. i.e. the arrest of independent journalist Raman Pratasevich and his companion Sofia Sapega as well as forcing flight FR4978 on which they were travelling to land in Minsk on May.
“This action jeopardised the safety of the passengers and crew of the flight. It was also a serious attack on the rules governing civil aviation. All our countries, and our citizens, depend on every state acting responsibly in fulfilling their duties under the Chicago Convention so that civil aircraft can operate safely and securely. We call on the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to urgently address this challenge to its rules and standards,” the statement reads.
According to the top diplomats, the action also represents a serious attack on media freedom. They have demanded the immediate and unconditional release of Raman Pratasevich, as well as all other journalists and political prisoners held in Belarus.
The efforts to promote accountability for the actions of the Belarusian authorities, including through further sanctions, would be enhanced. the ministers added.
On the back of the incident in the air, French President Emmanuel Macron came up with the idea of Belarusian politicians’ appearing at the upcoming G7 summit, the office of opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya reported on Tuesday.