MINSK, 24 May (BelTA) – Not a single country has requested information about the Ryanair aircraft incident from Belarus so far, BelTA learned from Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei on 24 May.
The official said: “We are ready to provide any data relating to this incident with the Ryanair aircraft. We are ready to transparently investigate this incident including with assistance of the relevant international specialists. But no country of the European Union, not a single Western country has requested information about the incident from Belarus as far as I know at the moment. But they have managed to make probably hundreds of political statements containing not only accusations but open threats aimed at Belarus. It is absolutely unacceptable. It is what can be described as a new geopolitical order in action.”
BelTA reported earlier that an aircraft of the air carrier Ryanair was flying over Belarus on the way from Athens to Vilnius on 23 May. The aircraft sent a distress signal. The airport received the signal at 12:50. The FR4978 flight squawked code 7700 – it is the main emergency code, which signifies an emergency situation on board. A message about a bomb on board the aircraft was the reason for the distress call.
The pilot-in-command decided to divert the aircraft to the Minsk National Airport where the aircraft landed at 13:15. Emergency response teams of the airport, ambulances, aviation security personnel, and K9 specialists had already been waiting for the aircraft at the parking apron. Prompt investigation measures were taken. Additional units of the Emergencies Ministry arrived. Representatives of law enforcement agencies worked on site.
There were 123 passengers on board. All of them went through an additional aviation security check and were delivered to the airport's transit lounge for investigation measures. The luggage was also removed from the aircraft and submitted to an additional security check. The tip about the bomb on board the aircraft proved false. The aircraft left the Minsk National Airport for Vilnius at 20:48.
The Investigative Committee branch of Minsk's Oktyabrsky District has opened a criminal case into a knowingly false report about danger in line with part 1, Article 340 of the Criminal Code.
The Latvian ambassador was summoned to the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs due to an incident involving Belarus' state flag in Riga. An ice hockey world championship is taking place in Riga these days. Flags of participating countries are hoisted in the center of the city. Today Riga Mayor Martins Stakis and Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkevics replaced Belarus' state flag with a white-red-white one.