The transportation secretary mentioned Monday that the security of flights operated by U.S. airways over Belarus should be reviewed after the Eastern European nation pressured a business flight to land with a view to seize a dissident on board.
“That’s exactly what needs to be assessed right now,” the secretary, Pete Buttigieg, advised CNN. “We, in terms of the international bodies we’re part of and as an administration with the F.A.A., are looking at that because the main reason my department exists is safety.”
The feedback got here after the authoritarian chief of Belarus dispatched a fighter jet on Sunday to intercept a Ryanair airplane carrying the journalist Roman Protasevich. The airplane was pressured to land in Minsk, the Belarusian capital, the place Mr. Protasevich was arrested.
The secretary of state, Antony J. Blinken, condemned the pressured diversion, saying it was a “shocking act” that “endangered the lives of more than 120 passengers, including U.S. citizens.” And Michael O’Leary, the chief government of Ryanair, an Irish-based low-cost service, known as the operation a “state -sponsored hijacking.”
The International Air Transport Association, a worldwide business group, mentioned Saturday on Twitter, “We strongly condemn any interference or requirement for landing of civil aviation operations that is inconsistent with the rules of international law.” The group known as for “a full investigation by competent international authorities.”
Officials in the area additionally criticized the motion. Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, known as the re-routing to Minsk “utterly unacceptable,” including that “any violation of international air transport rules must bear consequences.”
Though not a significant European hub, Minsk is served by a number of worldwide airways, together with Lufthansa, KLM, Turkish Airlines and Air France. Delta Air Lines and United Airlines supply flights to Minsk by means of their partnerships with these European airways in addition to by means of Belavia, the Belarusian nationwide service.
Belarus sits between Poland and Russia and likewise has borders with Ukraine, Lithuania and Latvia, placing it in the path of some flights to and from main European airports.