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18 January 2022, 19:20

Sikorsky comments on ICAO's report into Ryanair incident

MINSK, 18 January (BelTA) - The ICAO fact-finding investigation into the Ryanair flight admitted the evidence proving that Belarus did not intercept the aircraft, Director of the Aviation Department of the Belarusian Transport and Communications Ministry Artyom Sikorsky told the media in Minsk on 18 January, BelTA has learned.

"On January 17 at 23h20 the Aviation Department received a working document and the fact-finding report into the event involving Ryanair flight in Belarus airspace on 23 May 2021. The document is done in English, and is 64 pages long. We are now carefully analyzing it, identifying inaccuracies that require adjusting," Artyom Sikorsky said. The report is to be considered at the ICAO session on 31 January.

Most importantly, the fact-finding team admitted the evidence proving that Belarus did not intercept, force to land or reroute the flight by using a MiG-29 military jet. The ICAO fact-finding team noted that there were no visual signals from the flight and cabin crew and that there was no communication with the aircraft. This is the proof that there was no interception by the MiG-29,” the director of the department said.

According to him, the document emphasizes another important point which Belarus previously drew attention to. “The data of the aircraft crew conversations in the cockpit was not saved as the crew did not turn off the recorders after landing in Minsk. Thus, the crew did not save the data, including the moment when they were making the decision to land in Minsk. It looks strange,” Artyom Sikorsky stressed.

In his words, Belarus will continue to interact with the ICAO. “Together with experts, we are planning to get the facts, which have been submitted by Belarus and which have been presented not quite correctly, clarified by 31 January when ICAO convenes for the session. We expect that ICAO will consider Belarus' complaint against the illegal actions of several European countries that had imposed sanctions against the civil aviation of our country,” the director of the department added.

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