OREANDA-NEWS. The European People's Party (EPP), the largest faction in the European Parliament, has called on the EU to completely cut off flights with Belarus after an emergency in Minsk.

The statement received by RIA Novosti says: "There should be no flights to or from Belarus, no flights over Belarus. We also urge to immediately adopt the fourth package of sanctions."

On May 23, a liner of the Irish airline Ryanair, flying from Athens to Vilnius, urgently landed at the Minsk airport due to a message about mining, which turned out to be false. On board was Roman Protasevich, the founder of the Nexta Telegram channel, recognized as extremist in the republic. While checking his documents, he was detained. A criminal case was initiated against the journalist on several articles, including the organization of mass riots. He could face up to 15 years in prison.

This drew sharp criticism from the West, despite the fact that the practice of forced landing of aircraft took place in the past. The most high-profile case was the coercion by the US decree to land the liner of Bolivian President Evo Morales in Vienna in 2013. The reason was rumors that a former CIA agent Edward Snowden was on board, accused in the United States of divulging state secrets.