“The explanations of the Belarusian government for the forced landing of a Ryanair plane in Minsk are absurd and not credible,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement.
“We need clarity on what really happened on board and on the ground,” he added, saying that ambassador Denis Sidorenko was expected at his ministry Monday evening.
Maas said Berlin also expected “clarity about the wellbeing” of the detained journalist, Roman Protasevich, and his girlfriend, saying both “must
be released immediately”.
He said a senior official at the ministry, Miguel Berger, would meet with Sidorenko, while EU leaders debate “consequences” at a summit in Brussels.
The Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius carrying Protasevich was diverted while in Belarusian airspace over a supposed bomb threat.
Accompanied by a Belarusian fighter jet on the orders of strongman Alexander Lukashenko, the plane landed in Minsk where Protasevich, a
26-year-old who had been living in Lithuania, was arrested along with his Russian girlfriend.