Russia did not allow an Air France KLM plane to land in Moscow on Wednesday morning. Air France KLM confirms that the flight was later canceled. According to the company, the refusal was related to the new route, as it was no longer allowed to fly over Belarus.
It was about flight AF1154, which was scheduled to leave Paris this morning at 10.20 in the morning and was supposed to land in the capital at 3 in the afternoon. The French had to use a new route because they were no longer allowed to fly over Belarus due to European sanctions. Earlier this week, the regime forced Ryanair to land in order to arrest a critical journalist. Russia has not approved this new route outside Belarus.
A spokeswoman for Air France KLM said that the next flight from Paris to Moscow is scheduled for Friday. The company hopes to be able to make this trip as usual, but there is no clarity on this yet.
On Wednesday, the Belarusians faced sanctions for the first time. A passenger plane belonging to the state airline Belavia, en route from Minsk to Barcelona, had to turn. They are no longer welcome in French airspace, Polish air traffic control told them, as they are still allowed to fly today. Meanwhile, Poland has also announced that aircraft from Belarus are no longer welcome in its airspace.
Six of the 15 Security Council countries are now calling for an investigation into the incident and the release of opposition blogger Protasevic, who is believed to be traveling from Greece to Lithuania, but is now in a cell in his home country.
They describe the Belarusian government’s move to land a European airliner in Minsk as “a new and very dangerous stage in the campaign of the Belarusian authorities to suppress their own people.”
The declaration initiated by Estonia was signed by the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Norway. Former members, Germany and Belgium, have also spoken out against “a blatant attack on the safety of international civil aviation.”
There is no joint statement from all fifteen members of the Security Council. Russia is forming an important blockade, and it is a permanent member with veto power and an ally of Belarus.
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