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People's Daily Online

NATO restricts access to its HQ by Belarusian diplomats

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 08:39, June 01, 2021

BRUSSELS, May 31 (Xinhua) -- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has restricted access to its headquarters by members of Belarus' diplomatic mission, the alliance's secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said Monday, citing "assessment of security measures at the headquarters."

The move came after a Ryanair passenger plane en route from Athens to Vilnius was diverted to land in Minsk on May 23.

The Irish airline Ryanair said that the flight FR4978 was directed to an airport in Minsk as crew on the plane had been alerted to a possible security threat by Belarusian authorities, adding that nothing untoward was found.

Stoltenberg was addressing a news conference ahead of the meeting of NATO defense and foreign ministers due on Tuesday. He said the ministers will discuss a range of issues, including the engagement in Afghanistan as well as developments in Ukraine and Belarus.

Belarus is not a member of NATO. It, however, has had ties with the military alliance since 1992.

European Union leaders have agreed to cut the bloc's air links with Belarus following the flight diversion incident.

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