Aliaksandr Lukashenka believes that ICAO has no choice but to slow down the case on the incident with the Ryanair Athens-Vilnius flight, which was forced to land in Minsk in May last year, as a result of which Raman Pratasevich and Sofia Sapega were detained. Lukashenka is sure that the recently sent report on the incident justifies Belarus. According to him, the experts committed a heroic act.
“These are, to be honest, heroic people. They should be positively evaluated. With that pressure (this is a UN organization, you know that we are not just in the minority there, we are alone there), and nevertheless they were forced to admit that Lukashenka did not open fire on the plane, did not fire at it, that he did not raise the MiG in order to force this plane to land. Listen, they are heroes if they at least said this,” he stated.
Aliaksandr Lukashenka is sure that there are no other facts against Belarus, so it is best to let the case go. According to him, he did not expect that there would be anything different in the report. For him, the main thing was the lack of accusations against the fighter plane.
“It’s important for us. If they are willing to prove otherwise, then give the facts. There are no facts, we also see this: now it has been sent to all ICAO member countries. You know who takes precedence there. The best thing for them is to slow down everythings, not to get into the wilds. Because the deeper into the wood you go, the more timber seems to grow. Therefore, there is no need to get into the wilds there: nothing good awaits them,” he said.
In his opinion, the whole world has already seen who is right in this situation, so the Belarusian side will apply to the court to compensate for the damage that was caused by the sanctions.
“And we don’t have to wait for them to kneel or even apologize standing. The whole world has understood where the truth is and where the lies are. Now we are evaluating with specialists, we will appeal to the judicial authorities. We have everything for this. Let them pay for the damage they have done to the country. Not only Belavia, but the country as a whole. Let them pay,” Lukashenka said.
Aliaksandr Lukashenka did not comment on the charges of air piracy sent to the court by US prosecutors in connection with this incident. They were filed against four Belarusian officials. In Belarus, they are called an attempt to put pressure on Belarus before the ICAO meeting. It should be noted that officially ICAO has not yet considered the report and has not made decisions on its basis. The document has only been sent for review to members of the organization.