White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the United States, together with the European Union, will develop sanctions against Belarusian officials over the incident with the Ryanair plane.
The United States, in coordination with the EU, other partners, and allies, is working on sanctions against representatives of the Belarusian authorities related to “ongoing human rights violations, corruption, falsification of the 2020 elections and the events of May 23,” Psaki said.
According to her, on June 3, Washington will also return the previously lifted sanctions against nine Belarusian state-owned enterprises. In addition, the United States will suspend the agreement with Belarus on the mutual use of airspace, the press secretary concluded.
On May 27, the head of the EU’s international diplomacy, Josep Borrel, said that the EU is discussing two main areas for new sanctions against Belarus — the export of potash fertilizers and the transit of gas from Russia. The head of European diplomacy stressed that Belarus is one of the largest exporters of potash fertilizers, and most of its supplies go through the Baltic States, so “ they will be easy to control.”
On May 23, a Ryanair plane en route from Athens to Vilnius made an emergency landing in Minsk after reports of mining operations from the Minsk airport. To accompany the aircraft, a MiG-29 fighter of the Belarusian Air Force was raised. Immediately after landing, Belarusian security forces detained Protasevich, who was on board. At home, he is accused of creating an extremist group and calling for mass riots after the presidential elections in August 2020.