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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Poland closes airspace to Belarus planes

27.05.2021 07:50
Poland has banned Belarusian planes from entering its airspace starting May 27 in response to Sunday’s forced landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk, officials announced.
Barred from the skies: Polands airspace is now officially closed to the Belarusian national airline Belavia.
Barred from the skies: Poland's airspace is now officially closed to the Belarusian national airline Belavia.Photo: Rostislav Kalousek/CTK via PAP

The ban kicked in at midnight on Thursday, Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller told reporters.

Earlier this week Poland's national air carrier LOT said it was suspending flights to Minsk and ceasing to use Belarusian airspace after Belarus scrambled a fighter jet to divert a Ryanair plane and detain a dissident journalist.

European Union leaders meeting in Brussels on Monday agreed to impose more sanctions on Belarus and called on airlines to avoid Belarusian airspace, while also authorizing work to ban Belarusian airlines from European skies and airports.

Top Polish officials have condemned Belarus for intercepting a Ryanair aircraft carrying Roman Protasevich—an opposition-minded journalist critical of strongman Alexander Lukashenko’s regime—and forcing the flight to land in Minsk on Sunday.

(gs)

Source: IAR, PAP