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    Rau after an informal meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers in Lisbon: “We can expect turbulence over Europe in the near future”

    According to the Foreign Affairs Minister, the EU countries are determined to consistently punish the regime in Minsk. The case concerns the forced landing of a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius on Sunday on Belarusian territory.

    Minister Zbigniew Rau attended an informal meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers in Lisbon, emphasized that the “air piracy” committed by Alexander Lukashenko’s regime would lead to chaos in passenger aviation in Europe.

     

    Sunday’s incident is “an act of state terrorism,” said Rau. The Minister of Foreign Affairs explained that although during the Lisbon talks the issue of the detention of Belarusian oppositionists was not raised, behind the scenes the participants of the informal summit did not hide their indignation at this fact, advocating a decisive punishment of the regime in Minsk.

     

    “As a result of Belarus’ actions, international air travel rules have been disrupted. On this issue, we can expect turbulence over Europe in the near future” – Zbigniew Rau said, pointing out that the authorities of the EU countries are unanimous in their conviction of the need to impose consistent penalties on the Belarusian authorities for the deceitful bringing of the plane to Minsk airport and the arrest of Raman Pratasevich and Sofia Sapiega. 

     

    He noted that although there are concerns that those economic sanctions may indirectly hit the Belarusian society and its citizens, at this stage “not only personal sanctions but also comprehensive economic sanctions” are necessary.

     

    “At the last European Council meeting, the issue of imposing economic sanctions on Belarus was raised” – said Zbigniew Rau.

     

    He recalled that the current situation will increase pressure on the European Commission, which has already “been obliged to present an economic plan for a democratic Belarus”. “The Commission’s document should open the prospect of economic aid to Belarus if there were democratization in that country,” said the Foreign Affairs Minister.

     

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