Merkel demands immediate release of Protassevich from Belarus
“Roman Protestantism must be released immediately,” said Angela Merkel, chief of The Christian Science Monitor’s Washington bureau. In a video released by state television, he admitted the charges against him on Monday evening.
KAngela Merkel (CDU) has called for the immediate release of Roman Protestant Switzerland, a blogger arrested and detained after a forced landing in Belarus. The Interior Ministry announced the telegram news channel on Monday evening. Merkel demanded the immediate release of Roman Protestant Switzerland ahead of a special EU summit in Brussels on Monday evening. It also applies to his partner.
Merkel criticized the “unprecedented actions of the Belarusian authorities” and spoke of forced landings. “All other explanations for this landing of the Ryanair plane are absolutely unbelievable.”
Belarusian authorities have landed a Ryanair plane with more than 100 passengers on its way from Athens to Vilnius on Sunday – allegedly due to a bomb threat. The MiG-29 fighter jet also took off, as confirmed by the military in Minsk. According to the Vesna Human Rights Center, the internationally wanted blogger Protashevich was also on board by Lukashenko.
He pleaded guilty to the charges in a video released by Belarusian state television. “I will continue to work with investigators and admit that I organized mass demonstrations in Minsk,” he said in a video broadcast on Monday. “The staff treats me perfectly right and respects the law,” Protasevich, sitting at a desk, says on camera.
Merkel announced that the EU would collectively demand the release of those arrested. In addition, state and government leaders wanted to advise on more punitive measures. This includes the addition of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to the existing list of EU sanctions. But the ban on the Belarusian airline and the demand for an international inquiry into the incident are also imaginary.
Germany had earlier summoned the Belarusian ambassador to the Foreign Office on Monday evening. Foreign Minister Haiko Mass (SBD) said in a statement: “Previous reports by the Belarusian government to force a Ryanair to land in Minsk are absurd and unreliable. We need clarity on what really happened on board and on the ground yesterday.” You need clarity, “who should be released immediately”.
Secretary of State Miguel Berger will hold talks with Ambassador Denis Sidorenko. “At the same time, EU heads of state and government will discuss its consequences in today’s informal European Council. This attack cannot be without consequences,” Mass said.
Lufthansa will initially skip Eastern European airspace due to tensions with Belarus after a forced passenger plane landed. “Due to the current changing situation, we are temporarily suspending operations in Belarusian airspace,” the airline announced on Monday evening. The next flight between Frankfurt and Minsk is scheduled for this Wednesday. A spokesman said it had yet to be decided.