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September 25, 2021

MAE supports the need to urgently launch an independent international investigation on the plane detoured to Minsk

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) expresses its deep concern at the “inadmissible approach” of the Belarusian authorities, which has forced the landing of a passenger plane on the Athens-Vilnius route in Minsk, and firmly condemns it.

According to a statement sent to AGERPRES, the MAE considers the incident to be particularly serious and, through the Romanian Embassy in Minsk, conveyed to the Belarusian authorities, after forcing a landing in Minsk, the need for all passengers to continue their journey immediately and safely.

At the same time, the MAE expresses its concern over the arrest, following the forced landing of the aircraft in Minsk, of a Belarusian journalist on board the plane.

The MAE supports the need to urgently launch an independent international investigation to determine the exact circumstances in which this serious incident occurred, the source said.

“All these above elements will be communicated tomorrow [Monday] to the Belarusian ambassador to Bucharest, who will be summoned to the MAE at the request of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu,” the MAE states.

The MAE has made sustained efforts since the incident, through diplomatic missions in Minsk, Athens and Vilnius to determine whether Romanian citizens were on the plane.

”At the request of Minister Bogdan Aurescu, the Romanian ambassador in Minsk went to the local airport to clarify the situation, but, given the difficulty of dealing with the Belarusian authorities, it was not possible to determine with certainty whether there were also Romanian citizens on the plane,’, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs mentions.

The Romanian ambassador in Vilnius was also at the Vilnius airport and was in constant contact with the Lithuanian authorities, who processed the passengers of the plane that arrived at its destination. The Lithuanian authorities confirmed to the Romanian ambassador, after disembarking all the passengers, that no Romanian citizen was aboard the aircraft.

The MAE states that during the evolution of this situation, no request for consular assistance was received from any Romanian citizen.

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