"ALL passengers must be able to continue their travel immediately", he said.
The president of the European Union Commission Ursula Von Der Leyen called the move to divert the flight "utterly unacceptable" and warned it must bear consequences. "Any violation of worldwide air transport rules must bear consequences".
'We have already informed the Ryanair office and the International Civil Aviation Organisation, demanding to start an investigation into the incident and take measures up to the exclusion of Belarus from ICAO'. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called the incident a "hijacking" and called for immediate sanctions on Belarus.
Officials had yet to confirm whether Protasevich was onboard or had remained in detention in Belarus. "This is a reprehensible act of state terrorism", he said. It made no mention of Protasevich in the statement. The plane was then escorted by a Belarusian fighter jet to a Minsk airport.
Belarus a year ago designated Nexta an extremist organisation and has called for his extradition from Poland, where the channel's editorial team is based.
Belarus had also labelled the Nexta Telegram channels and its logo "extremist" and ordered it blocked.
The Telegram channel of Lukashenko's press service said the president gave the order to turn the flight around. It added that he also ordered a Mig-29 fighter jet to accompany the aircraft.
'It is absolutely obvious that this is an operation by the special services to hijack an aircraft in order to detain activist and blogger Raman Pratasevich, ' she said.
The opposition believes that Tikhanovskaya, who fled to neighbouring Lithuania after the election, was the true victor of last year's presidential vote. Belarus' opposition have said they fear he could now face the death penalty. "The worldwide community must take immediate steps that this does not repeat", Mr. Nauseda said.
The plane had nearly left Belarus air space but was forced to land in Minsk.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said there were 171 passengers aboard the flight, majority Lithuanian nationals.
Christophe Deloire, the head of Reporters Without Borders, called the moves against Tut.by "a new attempt to silence the most well-known independent media in Belarus", and called on the United Nations to act to ensure freedom of information.
DR Congo residents flee after volcano erupts
People tried to douse the flames as the lava flowed, engulfing parts of the city and roads. The evacuation plan for Goma has been activated, said government spokesman Patrick Muyaya.
Ontario youth 12+ eligible to book vaccines
These cases are located in the Far North Central (Athabasca), one; Far North West, 11; Far North East, 22; and North Central, one. The figures bring the provincial totals to 520,774 confirmed cases and 8,599 deaths in Ontario since the pandemic began.
Boy, 6, Killed in Road Rage Shooting
Witnesses reported hearing a gunshot from a white sedan right before the child's mother pulled over to the shoulder. The incident occurred around 8 a.m., while the child's mother was driving her son to school along the 55 freeway.