To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Belarus leader tests EU's will to punish him

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Significance

The measures are a response to the May 23 diversion of a Ryanair airliner to Minsk airport on the pretext of a bomb warning. When the plane landed, the Belarus authorities detained dissident journalist Raman Pratasevich and his partner Sofia Sapega. Pratasevich yesterday appeared in footage reminiscent of a 'proof of life' video -- in custody, bruised and admitting guilt.

Impacts

  • Moscow will seek a careful balance between failing to support its ally and backing it so enthusiastically as to invite sanctions itself.
  • EU divisions will increase over the extent of sanctions and how far relations with Belarus should be uncoupled from tensions with Moscow.
  • The airline industry must decide whether this was a one-off incident or signals an era of more frequent abuses requiring new precautions.

Related articles

Expert Briefings logo
Stay up to date
Sign up to the Expert Daily Briefings email alert and receive up-to-the-minute analysis of global events as they happen.
*If your university does not have access to Expert Briefings, visit our information page to find out more.