Official: Belavia flights are banned in European airspace

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The European Union bans Belarusian airlines from accessing EU airspace. The European Council also decided to sanction Belarus for hijacking the RYANAIR aircraft. Thus, all EU airlines will bypass the airspace of the state of Belarus.

This measure was called for by European leaders at the end of May and was officially legalized by the 27 Member States. The ban will take effect on Saturday, June 5. The measure concerns primarily the domestic airline Belavia, and is a strong economic sanction against Belarus, a diplomat explained.

The sanction comes from the decision of the Belarusian authorities which hijacked a RYANAIR plane, who operated the Athens-Vilnius flight, and forced him to land in Minsk to arrest two of his passengers, Belarusian dissident journalist Roman Protassevich, and his Russian-born girlfriend Sofia Sapega.

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