Ministry of Transport of Belarus: ICAO did not reveal coercion to land a Ryanair aircraft with Protasevich The day before, ICAO announced that it had completed a report on the investigation into the circumstances of the emergency landing of Ryanair and provided it to all members of the organization. As stated in Minsk, the experts did not reveal the compulsion of the liner to land =”Minsk did not find confirmation of the interception of the aircraft with Protasevich in the ICAO report” />
Document on the entry of the Ryanair airliner into the airspace of Belarus
The Aviation Department of Belarus has received the final report of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on the investigation into the circumstances of the landing at the Minsk airport of a Ryanair aircraft with the former editor-in-chief of the Nexta Telegram channel Roman Protasevich on board. This was stated by the head of the aviation department of the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic Artem Sikorsky, BelTA informs. According to Sikorsky, it follows from the report that the ICAO fact-finding team “accepted evidence from the Belarusian side that there was no interception, forced landing or re-routing of the Ryanair aircraft by Belarus.”
” We are now carefully analyzing all the elements of this report, identifying inaccuracies that require correction, — he said.
The day before, ICAO announced that it had completed the preparation of the document and provided it to all 193 countries— members of the organization. The report was prepared by a dedicated fact-finding team, which includes experts in aviation security, aircraft operations, air navigation and international air law. The content of the document was not disclosed in ICAO, but it was reported that the conclusions from it would be considered at a meeting on January 31.
The plane carrying Protasevich, the founder of Nexta, flew from Athens to Vilnius on May 23, 2021. According to Minsk, when the liner was flying over the territory of Belarus, a message was received about mining, so the dispatchers instructed to urgently land the aircraft at the Belarusian airport. The Ministry of Defense reported that a MiG-29 fighter was raised to escort the liner.
Subsequently, the message about a bomb on the plane was not confirmed, and Protasevich was removed from the flight, detained and arrested (Minsk accuses him of organizing mass riots). Western countries are sure that the Belarusian authorities intercepted the plane for this purpose and forced the liner to land at the airport in Minsk. After the incident, several states announced the suspension of air traffic with Belarus, and sanctions were imposed against the republic.
In December, The New York Times reported that the dispatcher who was on duty at the Minsk airport at the time of the incident with by Ryanair plane, fled from Belarus to Poland and told the law enforcement agencies of this country that the bomb threat on board the liner was obviously false. He called the emergency landing of the plane an operation to capture Protasevich, organized by the Belarusian special service.
A few days later, Warsaw released an audio recording of the conversations between the dispatcher and the pilot of the Ryanair airliner, on which you can hear a third person advising an airport employee in Russian. In Poland, they said that it was a KGB officer. However, in Belarus they claim that this is the voice of the flight director of the Minsk regional dispatch center Yevgeny Tsyganov. Belarusian investigators stated that there were signs of editing in the recording provided by Poland.
On January 18, excerpts from the ICAO report were published by Novaya Gazeta. According to the publication, it says that the testimony of the Belarusian authorities about the time of receiving an anonymous letter about the bomb on board Ryanair, due to which the landing was made, does not correspond to reality. Also, it follows from the report, Minsk violated many standard procedures: in particular, at the airport one of the Ryanair crew members was ordered to stay on board during the search of the aircraft, although everyone should leave the liner if there was a threat of an explosion.
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