US to suspend air services agreement with Belarus and renew sanctions against Belarusian state-owned enterprises
The White House announced sanctions against Belarus over the emergency landing of a Ryanair plane in Minsk and the detention of Belarusian opposition journalist Roman Protasevich.
Here are the main measures taken by the United States:
- Appeal for American citizens not to travel to Belarus;
- A recommendation for American carriers to exercise “extreme caution” when flying over Belarus;
- Suspension of the air services agreement with Belarus, which allowed the airlines of the two countries to make flights between them;
- Renewal from June 3 of sanctions against nine Belarusian state-owned enterprises (these sanctions were announced even before the incident with the Ryanair aircraft);
- Developing, together with the European Union, new restrictive measures against key associates of Alexander Lukashenko.
- Elaboration of a decree that will give the United States expanded powers to impose sanctions against “elements of the Lukashenka regime” and his “support network”.
The White House calls on Lukashenka to investigate the Ryanair landing, release all political prisoners and hold a “free and fair” presidential election in Belarus
Earlier, US President Joe Biden called the Ryanair incident in Belarus “a direct challenge to international norms.”
Since May 24, a number of European countries have closed their airspace for the Belarusian airline “Belavia”, and their carriers were not recommended or banned from flying over Belarus because of the incident with the Ryanair aircraft.
The leaders of the European Union instructed the governments of the EU member states to ban Belarusian airlines from flying to the European Union.