Russia says ICAO position on Ryanair flight diversion is anti-Belarusian bias

Disclosure – Ryanair


The conclusions of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) final report on the Ryanair aircraft incident are anti-Belarusian in nature, according to the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“In general, the report and decision are frankly anti-Belarusian in nature. One gets the impression that the sole purpose of the investigation was not to establish the facts, but to find ways to indict the Republic of Belarus. We regret that an objective and open study of the situation, advocated by the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus, did not work“, said Ivan Nechaev, a spokesman for the Ministry.

Nechaev highlighted that the representative of the Russian Federation on the ICAO Council expressed disagreement with the report’s conclusions.

“Experts have serious doubts about the objectivity of the report, which now lists an anonymous source as if it were an air traffic controller, uses unverified audio recordings, ignoring information provided by Belarusian authorities,” added.

The diplomat also noted that the ICAO Council once again refused to consider the question raised by Minsk on the illegality of the restrictions imposed by the European Union against the Belarusian aviation industry, its discussion under forced pretexts was again postponed.


According to Nechaev, ICAO “signed off its own inability to defend an independent position, sacrificing its reputation as a specialist aviation body to the ambitions of the West”. As the diplomat pointed out, Russia is convinced that international civil aviation and the ICAO must not become an instrument of political pressure or of fighting questionable governments. “There is less and less hope that this appeal will be heard in the West”he concluded.

Background

A Ryanair plane en route from Athens to Vilnius landed at Minsk airport on May 23, 2021, after reports of an explosive device on board, according to Belarusians. After the plane landed, the passenger Roman Protasevich, wanted by the Belarusian authorities, one of the founders of the Nexta Telegram channel recognized as an opponent of the government. He was detained and a citizen of the Russian Federation Sofia Sapega was also detained.

After this incident, the European Union banned Belarusian airlines from operating flights to community airports and over its territory, and also recommended that European carriers refuse to fly in Belarusian airspace.

The ICAO concluded in its report that the information about the presence of a bomb on board the aircraft was deliberately false. Minsk stated that the document is categorically unacceptable and discredits ICAO.


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