Prime Minister Alexander de Crowe (Open Vld) wants the heads of state and government of the European Union, who meet at a summit in Brussels on Monday night, to take sanctions against Belarus. It is proposed, among other things, to ban the national Belarusian airline Belavia from continuing to land at European Union airports. De Croo stated this on Twitter late Sunday evening.
Belarus forced a Ryanair plane en route from Athens to Vilnius on Sunday to land in Minsk. On board the plane was a prominent Belarusian opposition member, Roman Protasevic, who was arrested. He was wanted by the Belarusian authorities for some time. De Croo is requesting the immediate release of blogger and former editor-in-chief of Telegram Nexta. The Belgian Prime Minister believes that the European Council on Monday evening should give a “clear and unambiguous” message.
The European Union has already issued sanctions against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and members of his regime to suppress the democratic movement in the former Soviet Republic. Josep Borrell, the European Union’s high representative for foreign policy, said on May 10 that new sanctions are in the pipeline. Sanctions currently in effect include a ban on entry into the European Union and an asset freeze in Europe. The European summit begins on Monday at seven in the evening.