Russia Will Not Conduct Probe Into Ryanair Incident, Supports ICAO Probe - Envoy To UN

Russia Will Not Conduct Probe Into Ryanair Incident, Supports ICAO Probe - Envoy to UN

Russia will not conduct any investigation into the grounding of Ryanair international flight in Minsk, Belarus, but supports the probe by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Russian Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy said in a press briefing on Friday

UNITED NATIONS (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 28th May, 2021) Russia will not conduct any investigation into the grounding of Ryanair international flight in Minsk, Belarus, but supports the probe by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Russian Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy said in a press briefing on Friday.

"Russia will not conduct any investigation because we're not related," Polyanskiy told reporters. "We support the ICAO investigation, we support ICAO and we support Belarus."

On Thursday, the ICAO launched an investigation into the incident with Ryanair flight 4978 to Vilnus which was diverted to Minsk while passing through Belarus airspace.

Polyanskiy said ICAO will need to determine the reasons for the plane's grounding and whether the Belarusian authorities had the grounds to do so.

The diplomat said he believed Minsk had justified reasons to land the aircraft because of an imminent threat to the plane on board.

The Belarusian Transport Ministry's aviation department said earlier it received an email attributed to Hamas warning of a bomb planted on the flight.

"There is a Chicago convention which entitles the country that possesses the airspace to have to bear full responsibility for the flight, so they had the right to do so," Polyanskiy pointed out.

Besides the investigation taken up by the ICAO, an international group of prosecutors from countries whose citizens were on board of the Ryanair plane, including Poland, Lithuania and Greece plan to start their own probe into the incident, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said earlier on Friday.

On Monday, the European Union recommended European carriers to avoid flights over Belarus and called for new sanctions against the country, following the incident with the flight belonging to the Irish airline.

During the stopover at the Minsk airport, one of the plane's passengers, Roman Protasevich, the founder of a Telegram channel that Minsk has designated as extremist, was detained. Alongside Protasevich, his girlfriend, Russian student Sofia Sapega, was also arrested and currently remains in custody in Belarus.