Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko insists the plane is in danger and that its detention is legal.

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Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko insists the plane is in danger and that its detention is legal.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko defended his decision to instruct a Ryanair passenger flight to land in his nation, reiterating that the flight had been targeted with a bomb threat.

Lukashenko told MPs and top officials on Wednesday that he acted lawfully in defending people in accordance with international laws.

The flight was not bomb-free, but Raman Pratasevich, a 26-year-old journalist and activist, and his Russian girlfriend were detained.

According to Lukashenko, the plane was flying near a nuclear power facility, so air defenses were put on high alert.

He continued, “I had to safeguard people, and I was thinking about the country’s security.”

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Lukashenko accused European leaders of launching a “hybrid war” to “strangle” his country by imposing further sanctions for diverting the flight and detaining an opposition journalist on board, and he dismissed claims that a fighter jet he scrambled was forcing the passenger plane to land in Minsk as a “total falsehood.”

However, European Union leaders have branded the decision to divert the jet — which was flying between two EU countries and was operated by a third — as piracy. They immediately agreed to prohibit Belarusian flights from utilizing the 27-nation bloc’s airspace and airports, and advised European carriers to avoid Belarusian airspace. They agreed to draft additional measures on officials related to the diversion, as well as sanctions against enterprises that constitute Lukashenko’s main source of revenue.

That remark was mocked by Lukashenko.

“Our saboteurs, both inside and outside the country, have modified their tactics in attacking the state,” Lukashenko remarked. “That’s why they went from rioting to attempting to strangle us.”

“It’s no longer just an information war; it’s a modern hybrid war, and we must do everything we can to keep it from escalating into a heated conflict,” he continued.

Lukashenko has faced unprecedented pressure at home with months of protests triggered by his reelection to a sixth term in an August 2020 vote that the opposition rejected as rigged. But he has only doubled down on repression, and more than 35,000 people have been arrested since the protests began, with thousands beaten.

Pratasevich, who left Belarus in 2019, has become a. This is a brief summary.

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