MOSCOW, 25 May (BelTA) – In the situation with the Ryanair aircraft the Belarusian aviation authorities acted in line with the international rules, spokesman for the Russian president Dmitry Peskov told the media, BelTA has learned.
"If we understand things properly, there was a bomb alert, and necessary measures were taken in accordance with the international rules. There could have been a threat to life not only of Russian citizens but all the people who were on board. In order to minimize this threat, air traffic controllers took a set of measures," Dmitry Peskov said.
Asked whether the lives of the Russians who were on board were exposed to danger in connection with the landing of the plane, the Russian president's spokesman stressed: "No, we do not believe that the lives of the Russian citizens on board were exposed to danger." The threat could have come from a bomb alert, in connection with which Belarus took measures.
Moscow regrets the hasty decision of the European Union to adopt recommendations for the airlines to bypass the airspace of Belarus, Dmitry Peskov said. "It is necessary to understand that it will be passengers of planes that will be in the air for an extra half an hour or an hour who will pay for these recommendations eventually. This costs money. We can only express regret in this regard," he said.
Dmitry Peskov is convinced that the European Union could have conducted an objective investigation into the incident with the Ryanair plane before making recommendations to restrict the air traffic over the Belarusian airspace. “It is very expensive for any company to fly around the territory of a reasonably large country located in the center of Europe. Probably, first you need to objectively look into what happened and then discuss recommendations based on specific data. But our European colleagues took a different path. At yesterday's summit they quickly made a decision without any investigations and issued strong recommendations for their airlines,” he said.
The situation with the Ryanair flight might be discussed during the upcoming meeting between Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin that is set to take place soon, Dmitry Peskov said.
The accusations of Russia's alleged involvement in this incident, in particular those voiced by the UK foreign secretary, are absurd, Dmitry Peskov said. “This is the anti-Russian obsession, the compulsion to accuse Russia of anything and everything. Perhaps, soon they will come to accuse Russia of the very fact of its existence,” he noted. “Unfortunately, such politically absurd accusations happen. We have been observing the situation patiently. We do not accept this. However, we understand that in this case it is pointless to try to explain anything. Indeed, these phobias and compulsions are starting to get the best of the authors of such accusations, preventing them from assessing the situation properly,” Dmitry Peskov added.