“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.
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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.