U.S. finalizes Belarus air travel restrictions

U.S. finalizes Belarus air travel restrictions

The U.S. Transportation Department finalized an order on Tuesday banning ticket sales for air travel between the United States and Belarus, acting after Minsk forced a Ryanair flight to land and arrested a dissident journalist who was aboard.

The department on June 29 had issued a show cause order proposing the restrictions after the U.S. State Department determined that limiting travel between the United States and Belarus was in Washington's foreign policy interest in light of the diversion of the Ryanair flight.

The order, which is effectively immediately, also applies to "interline" travel in which tickets are purchased through one airline that contain flights operated by multiple airlines, Reuters reported.

Under consideration by the U.S. government for several weeks, the order is mostly symbolic since relatively few tickets are purchased for travel to Belarus from U.S.-based travel services.

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