After the Belarusian government forced a plane to land and then arrested a prominent opposition journalist
has barred flights from other countries that avoid Belarusian airspace while traveling to Russia.
Journalist Raman Pratasevich
was arrested on Sunday after Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko
ordered a fighter jet to intercept the 123-person passenger plane Pratasevich was on, forcing it to land in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, where Pratasevich and his girlfriend were detained.
The plane was forced to land due to a bomb threat, according to Belarusian authorities, but no explosives were found.
leaders quickly agreed to sanction Belarus, including barring the country's airlines
from using EU airspace, and President Joe Biden
joined international leaders in calling for sanctions
“The United States
joins countries all over the world in calling for his release, as well as the release of the hundreds of political prisoners wrongfully detained by the Lukashenko regime,” Biden said.
However, as the United States and Europe have promised not to fly into Belarusian airspace, Russia, a key ally of Belarus, has begun denying entry to flights that have avoided Belarus to get there. On Wednesday, Air France
cancelled multiple Paris-Moscow flights after Russia refused to approve new routes that would have bypassed Belarus.
According to the BBC
, Russian President Vladimir Putin
will meet with Lukashenko in Sochi on Friday to discuss the ongoing situation.