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US suspends air service agreement with Belarus following Ryanair plane hijacking

US suspends air service agreement with Belarus following the Ryanair plane hijacking
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki
Written by Harry Johnson

“The United States will suspend its discretionary application of the 2019 U.S-Belarus Air Services Agreement,” US statement said.

  • 2019 U.S-Belarus Air Services Agreement suspended
  • FAA recommended US air carriers to “exercise extreme caution” when flying in Belarusian airspace
  • The actions of the Belarusian government were condemned worldwide as state-sponsored terrorism and air piracy.

The White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement announcing that the United States of America will suspend an air service agreement with Belarus following the state-sponsored hijacking of Ryanair plane.

“The United States will suspend its discretionary application of the 2019 U.S-Belarus Air Services Agreement,” the statement said.

Yesterday, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recommended the US air carriers to “exercise extreme caution” when flying in the Belarusian airspace.

The agency, however, stopped short of banning air carriers from entering the airspace of Belarus.

On May 23, a Vilnius-bound Ryanair plane that took off from Athens was forced to land at Minsk International Airport after Belarusian authorities “reported” a fake bomb threat and scrambled A MiG-29 fighter jet to make sure the plane lands in Belarus.

Immediately upon forced landing, Belarusian security agents arrested opposition journalist Roman Protasevich, one of the co-founders of the Nexta Telegram channel, and his companion, Russian national Sofia Sapega, who were among the passengers of Ryanair flight.

Needless to say, no bomb was found inside the plane.

The actions of the Belarusian government were condemned worldwide as state-sponsored terrorism and air piracy.