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US prepares for continued sanctions on Belarus after the plane landed

President Joe Biden’s administration has said it will boycott members of the Belarusian government on Friday. Amid international anger over the forced landing of a commercial plane to seize opposition journalists

Within hours of a meeting between Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin, White House spokesman Jane Saki said in a statement that the United States had “continued to steer.” It is developing a list of sanctions against key members of the governments of Eastern European countries.

without specifying the name of the person who will be punished she said they “Involves ongoing human rights violations and corruption. Forgery of the 2020 Election and the May 23 Incident”

;, referring to the day the plane was forced to land.

urged Lukashenko to allow a “credible international investigation” into the incident. She said the United States It is suspending a 2019 agreement between Washington and Minsk that allows airlines from each country to use the other’s airspace.

Her comments came amid calls for the release of Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich and his Russian girlfriend, who were traveling on a commercial Ryanair plane from Greece to Lithuania on Sunday. When the Belarusian authorities stated that things turned out to be a false threat to steer the plane. to land in the capital city of Minsk

Both were later arrested and taken into custody. Although there was growing international pressure to release them.

The United States and its European allies have denied the incident in Belarus, saying Lukahenko forced the landing of the plane to detain journalists. which used to edit the Nexta Telegram channel which highly criticized his government

The European Union has sealed its airspace with Belarusian Airlines. And some European airlines choose to avoid Belarus’ airspace altogether.

The Federal Aviation Administration has advised airlines to take “extreme caution” when considering flying in Belarusian airspace, Psaki said.

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Lukashenko has led 9.3 million former Soviet republics for nearly 27 years, relentlessly suppressing dissent. He faced unprecedented protests after being elected for a sixth term last year. After many viewed the election results as a hoax.

He responded with fierce repression. detained thousands of people Some protesters accused the gang of gangs and were detained.

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya Belarusian opposition leaders attend a protest against the Belarusian regime at Dam Square in Amsterdam on Friday.Jeroen Jumelet/AFP – Getty Images

His main opponent Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya. fled to neighboring Lithuania under government pressure shortly after the election.

After she called for protests in solidarity with those who oppose Lukashenko’s regime, protests took place in several cities, including London, Warsaw and Vilnius.

The United States and its Western allies are increasingly isolated. After the plane crash, Lukashenko turned to one of his only remaining allies. Russia on Friday when he met Putin.

The Russian leader supported and described Western criticism of the plane’s landing as: “Explosive mood”

Reuters and related news agencies contribute

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