The European Council said on Monday evening after the EU Summit that it calls on members of the council to adopt further targeted economic sanctions on Belarus and invited the High Representative and the Commission to submit proposals without delay, according to a press release.
The Council strongly condemned the forced landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk, Belarus, on Sunday endangering aviation safety, and the detention by Belarusian authorities of journalist Roman Protasevich and Sofia Sapega.
The EU Council stated that it demands the immediate release of Roman Protasevich and his companion Sofia Sapega and calls on the International Civil Aviation Organization to urgently investigate the incident.
The Council has been invited to adopt additional listings of persons and entities on the basis of the relevant sanctions framework and calls and urges all EU-based carriers to avoid overflight of Belarus.
“We call on the Council to adopt the necessary measures to ban overflight of EU airspace by Belarusian airlines and prevent access to EU airports of flights operated by such airlines,” said the European Council.
EU Council stands in solidarity with Latvia following the unjustified expulsion of Latvian diplomats.
“This is an attack on democracy. This is an attack on freedom of expression. And this is an attack on European sovereignty,” said President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen in a press release.
“European Council decided that there will be additional sanctions on individuals that are involved in the hijacking, but this time also on businesses and economic entities that are financing this regime,” added Von der Leyen.