Belarus. NATO imposes sanctions after plane deviation | Politics News:

Stoltenberg says Belarus will be punished for diverting the flight, as the activist in the Minsk court is shaking after being stabbed.

Belarus came under pressure on Wednesday after a NATO chief called for sanctions after a controversial Minsk flight was diverted after a series of apparent suicide attempts in court shocked him.

On May 23, Belarus set out to escort a Ryanair military plane to Minsk, arresting wanted activist Roman Protasich and his colleague. Belarus says it was informed of the bomb threat, but many in the West viewed the diversion as a Protasichich prison.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday that some members of the transatlantic security alliance were considering further action after the European Union and the United States took action against Belarus.

“I think the most important thing now is to make sure that the agreed sanctions are fully implemented,” Stoltenberg told reporters during a visit to London for talks with British Prime Minister Boris John Onson.

“It must be clear that when a regime like the Minsk regime behaves in a way that violates basic international norms and rules, we will incur costs.”

An obvious suicide attempt in court

Stoltenberg’s comments came after a Belarusian activist stabbed him during a court hearing on Tuesday after reports that his family and relatives were being persecuted if he did not plead guilty.

RFE / RL footage shows Stepan Latipov lying on a wooden bench inside a prison cell in a courtroom in the capital, Minsk, with police standing and spectators shouting.

Latipov was taken to hospital after the incident. Belarusian health officials say he is in stable condition after surgery.

The 41-year-old man was arrested in September during a crackdown on mass anti-government protests. The protests erupted in response to a controversial election that gave President Alexander Lukashenko another term.

Latipov was standing in front of a Minsk mural, trying to stop the authorities from painting graffiti on the opposition.

He was accused of organizing riots, resisting the police and fraud. A state television report also accused him of poisoning the police.

He denies any crime.

In court, Latipov stabbed him in the throat with a pen-like object, Viasna-96 reports.

Exiled Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Ikhanuskaya said Latipov’s actions were “the result of state terrorism, repression and torture in Belarus.”

Aircraft deflection sowing

Minsk, which flew from Greece to Lithuania but was in Belarusian airspace, was angered by Minsk, which saw the EU banning Belarusian planes from the bloc’s airspace.

The alliance urged airlines to avoid flying over the former Soviet Union.

But on Wednesday, Wizz Air’s chief executive warned that the alliance’s response would have a negative effect on aviation, saying it would make the industry a “political toy” and could undermine its efforts to survive the COVID-19 epidemic.

“I do not think this is the right answer,” he told Reuters. “I do not think aviation should be used as a means of political sanctions.

“Nothing has happened that could endanger the safety or security of the flight.

“I do not think anyone was insecure for a second. It is a political measure. This is not a security measure. “

Protasevich is accused by Minsk of helping to organize last year’s anti-government protests.

After that, Lukashenko’s administration cracked down on dissent, arresting opposition activists and protesters.

All major opposition figures are currently in prison or in exile, and several independent media outlets have been shut down.

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