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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Belarus: Foreign Secretary welcomes ICAO fact-finding mission into diverted flight

The UK welcomes decision by the International Civil Aviation Organization to open a fact-finding mission into diverted Ryanair flight.

27 May 2021

The Foreign Secretary has welcomed the decision by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), supported by an overwhelming majority of international delegations, to launch an international fact-finding investigation into the events relating to the forced landing of Ryanair flight FR4978 in Belarus on Sunday 23 May.

The announcement follows the Belarusian authorities' diversion of a passenger flight from Greece to Lithuania. The Ryanair jet carrying over 100 passengers was diverted to Minsk on the basis of a false bomb scare in order to arrest an opposition journalist - in a further move by the Belarusian authorities in its ongoing war against independent journalism and opposition voices.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:

The UK welcomes the ICAO investigation into the Lukashenko regime's forced landing of Ryanair flight FR4978. We join our international partners in wanting to know the full circumstances that led up to this grave violation of international law and the attack on the principles that underpin civil aviation.

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