The U.S. president announced sanctions against Belarus at the turn of the plane


The U.S. president announced sanctions against Belarus at the turn of the plane, calling it a direct challenge to international standards.

The White House said in a statement that it is drawing up with the European Union a list of "selective penalties against critical members of Alexander Lukashenko's regime.

On Friday, the United States announced that it would impose a series of sanctions against Belarus, following the diversion of a Ryanair flight on Sunday and the arrest of a political opponent in Minsk.

In addition to the measures already announced in recent weeks, the White House said in a statement that it was working with the European Union on a list of targeted sanctions against key members of Lukashenko's government.

White House spokeswoman Jane Psaki said Belarus was forced to fly a domestic trade route between two E.U. member states and that the arrest of journalist Roman Protaswich was a direct challenge to international standards.

Economic sanctions against nine Belarusian state-owned companies imposed again in April after the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters will affect June 3.

After the disputed 2006 election, Washington banned all transactions with these companies.

The U.S. Treasury later welcomed some sanctions and suspended them in 2015. However, the U.S. government warned in late March that the suspension could not be renewed at a later date.

The White House also issued a do-to-travel warning to U.S. citizens for Belarus and warned U.S. aircraft to exercise extreme caution if considering flying over Belarus.

It further confirmed that the Justice Department, including the FBI, is investigating the incident in conjunction with its European counterparts.

E.U. Ambassador Joseph Borrell said on Thursday that the European Union was studying the possibility of sanctions against Belarus, which could target potash exports and Russian gas shipments for the country. There are two primary sources of income.

Brussels has asked airlines to avoid Belarus.

Minsk maintains that the plane was diverted due to a bomb threat and that the arrest of Protaswich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega was effective.

Proton Technologies, a Swiss-based email company, claims to have received an alleged bomb threat against Ryanair Flight, which the Belarussian government used as evidence to force a landing in Minsk.

The company, which prides itself on protecting its customers' data, declined to comment in detail on the email in question, confirming that, as it is encrypted, "its content cannot be accessed or verified. , We can see when this message was sent, and it was sent after a particular email turn.

Ryanair's flight between Athens and Vilnius, using an Air Force fighter when Lukashenko was criticized internationally. Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapiga were kept after an emergency landing.

Belarusian officials declared that Minsk airport had got an email approved by the Islamist Hamas movement notifying that there was a bomb on board and that the news came from a address.

The transcript of the exchanges between the control tower and the aircraft shows that the pilot was informed of the threat at 0930  GMT. A minute later, landing in Minsk was recommended.

According to Belarusian officials, the email in question ended with the following threat: We know that participants in the Delphi Economic Forum are returning home on FR 4978. A bomb has been planted on the plane. If they do not reply to our requests, it will pop at the height of Vilna. Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest in Arabic).