In Washington, they proposed to convene the ICAO Council in connection with the incident.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Washington strongly condemns the incident with the Ryanair plane and demands the release of Roman Protasevich, one of the founders of the NEXTA Telegram channel, which is recognized as an extremist in Belarus.
“The United States strongly condemns the forced change of flight direction between the two EU countries, as well as the arrest of journalist Roman Protasevich in Minsk,” the Secretary of State said in a statement released on Sunday evening. “We demand his immediate release. This shocking act of the regime has put the lives of more than 120 passengers, including US citizens, at risk.” According to Blinken, the initial reports “about the involvement of the Belarusian special services and the use of a military aircraft to escort the board are of deep concern and require a full investigation.”
The Secretary of State informed that the United States coordinates with the European Union the response to the incident and supports the convocation of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The ICAO headquarters are located in Montreal. “We are closely coordinating the response with our partners, including the EU, the authorities of Lithuania, and Greece,” the text says. “Given the evidence that the landing of the aircraft was caused by false grounds, we support the early convening of a meeting of the ICAO Council to consider these events.” Blinken also spoke about the ongoing persecution and detention of journalists in Belarus. The Secretary of State said that the United States “supports the Belarusian people in their quest for a free, democratic and prosperous future,” calling on the authorities of the republic to “respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.”