MINSK, 30 August (BelTA) – Specialists of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), who went to Belarus, have refused to talk to Roman Protasevich, a passenger of the Ryanair FR4978 flight, which landed in the Minsk National Airport on 23 May. Director of the Aviation Department of the Transport and Communications Ministry Artyom Sikorsky made the statement in a recent broadcast hosted by the YouTube channel of Igor Tur, a political analyst of the Belarusian TV channel ONT, BelTA has learned.
Artyom Sikorsky said: “We understand perfectly well that the ICAO specialists would not be here if not for the situation involving one Ryanair FR4978 flight passenger. But they have refused to talk to him. They were invited to talk to him but refused to do it.”
Moreover, as far as the visit of the ICAO specialists to Belarus is concerned, it was initially noted that they would like to talk to all the five passengers, who stayed in Belarus after the Ryanair FR4978 flight left Minsk. “In the end they haven't met with a single one of them,” Artyom Sikorsky said.
Yet the official noted that the ICAO specialists left Belarus in a mood that differed from the one they had on arrival. They now understand what transpired and realize it was not some special operation designed to detain one of the passengers. “They saw it (we didn't know who was on board the aircraft in our air space). Most importantly we have proven it. And we've proven that we acted precisely in compliance with all the international guidelines. In the end I saw they were absolutely bewildered. Because the attitude they had on arrival – the attitude of an absolutely closed issue – has changed,” Artyom Sikorsky said.