Lithuanian president demands Nexta channel founder to be released

Lithuanian president demands Nexta channel founder to be released

The Ryanair plane with Roman Protasevich, a former editor-in-chief of the Nexta Telegram channel, which has been recognized as extremist in Belarus, among its passengers was actually compelled to land in Minsk, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said.

"The Belarusian regime’s services compelled the passenger plane flying to Vilnius to land in Minsk," the presidential press service quoted him as saying. He called on NATO and EU allies to immediately react to the threat to international civil aviation from the Belarusian regime.

Nauseda also demanded Protasevich, who was detained after the plane’s landing, be immediately released, TASS reported.

The Ryanair plane flying from Athens to Vilnius made an emergency landing at Minsk’s airport after the pilots had reported a bomb threat. It was reported after the plane’s landing that former editor-in-chief of the Nexta Telegram channel, which had been recognized as extremist in Belarus, Romat Protasevich was among the passengers. The man was detained.

Meanwhile, Lina Beisiene, a spokeswoman for Lietuvos oro uostai the operator of Lithuanian airports, said on Sunday that Lithuania’s aviation authorities had no information about any bombs onboard the plane. She said that plane had made an emergency landing because of a conflict between a passenger and a crewmember. However, she disclosed no details.

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