Western countries have expressed their outrage at the forced diversion of a plane carrying a Belarusian activist on an internal EU flight on Sunday.
EU leaders are due to discuss their response to what the union’s executive called a “hijacking” and the US state department a “shocking act”.
Belarus forced the plane, which was bound for Lithuania, to land in Minsk claiming a bomb threat to the aircraft. They then arrested the Belarusian journalist and activist Roman Protasevich.
According to state media, the aircraft was still in Belarusian airspace when the authorities scrambled a fighter jet and diverted it to the country’s capital. This order was personally given by President Alexander Lukashenko.