EU bans overflight of its territory by Belarus airlines

EU headquarters said in a statement Friday that member countries will “be required to deny permission to land in, take off from or overfly their territories to any aircraft operated by Belarusian air carriers, including as a marketing carrier.”

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In this May 23, 2021, file photo, a Belavia plane lands at the International Airport outside Vilnius, Lithuania. The European Union agreed to impose sanctions against Belarus, including banning its airlines from using the airspace and airports of the 27-nation bloc, amid fury over the forced diversion of a passenger jet to arrest an opposition journalist.

In this May 23, 2021, file photo, a Belavia plane lands at the International Airport outside Vilnius, Lithuania. The European Union agreed to impose sanctions against Belarus, including banning its airlines from using the airspace and airports of the 27-nation bloc, amid fury over the forced diversion of a passenger jet to arrest an opposition journalist.

AP

BRUSSELS — The European Union has slapped a ban on the overflight of the 27-nation bloc’s airspace and the use of its airports by Belarus airlines, in the wake of Minsk’s decision to divert a Ryanair passenger plane to arrest a dissident journalist last month.

EU headquarters said in a statement Friday that member countries will “be required to deny permission to land in, take off from or overfly their territories to any aircraft operated by Belarusian air carriers, including as a marketing carrier.”

Belarus’ international isolation has deepened since the May 23 incident, in which Belarusian flight controllers told the crew of a Ryanair jet of an alleged bomb threat. They also instructed them to land in Minsk, where journalist Raman Pratasevich was pulled off the plane by authorities.

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