US President Joe Biden backed the EU call to slap targeted economic sanctions and other measures on Belarus and asked his team to develop appropriate measures on holding accountable those responsible for the incident with a Ryanair jet and the detention of Roman Protasevich, one of the founders of the Nexta Telegram channel deemed as extremist in Belarus, Tass reports.
US to take measures after incident with jet in Belarus, Biden says
STEPANAKERT, MAY 25, ARTSAKHPRESS: "I join the many calls for an international investigation to ascertain the complete facts of the case. I welcome the news that the European Union has called for targeted economic sanctions and other measures, and have asked my team to develop appropriate options to hold accountable those responsible, in close coordination with the European Union, other allies and partners, and international organizations," Biden said in a statement.
The US president described this incident as a direct affront to international norms. "Belarus’s forced diversion of a commercial Ryanair flight, traveling between two member states of the European Union, and subsequent removal and arrest of Roman Protasevich, a Belarusian journalist traveling abroad, are a direct affront to international norms. The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms both the diversion of the plane and the subsequent removal and arrest of Mr. Protasevich," according to the statement.
"The United States joins countries around the world in calling for his release, as well as for the release of the hundreds of political prisoners who are being unjustly detained by the Lukashenko regime," Biden said. The US leader expressed support for Protasevich as well as former Belarusian presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. "The United States will continue to stand with the people of Belarus in their struggle," the statement reads.