Glenn Greenwald: Belarus diverting plane similar to tactics previously used by US, EU officials

Journalist Glenn Greenwald on Tuesday said that while the U.S. and European Union have condemned Belarus for its forced diversion of a commercial plane to detain a prominent opposition journalist, he pointed out that Western leaders have previously used the same tactics. 

In an interview on Hill.TV’s “Rising,” Greenwald argued there were “parallels” between the Sunday action of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and the U.S. efforts with the help of EU leaders in 2013 to put pressure on Bolivian President Evo Morales to land his plane in Austria over speculation that former intelligence contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden was aboard the flight. 

“In 2013, what they did was a different tactic but the same intended result,” Greenwald said. “The United States convinced four different European countries that Edward Snowden was on that plane with President Morales traveling back with him to Bolivia in order to get asylum, and all four of those countries withdrew in mid-air their consent for that plane to fly through their airspace, knowing that it would force the plane to land in Austria.” 

“The whole point of that operation was to then enter the plane and nab Edward Snowden out of the clutches of the Bolivians to put him in prison,” the journalist continued. “So, the parallels are quite clear and obvious.”

President Biden on Monday called Belarus’ diversion of a Ryanair flight from Greece to Lithuania "a direct affront to international norms,” and along with the EU has vowed to hold Belarus accountable for the move, as well as its detainment of journalist and activist Raman Pratasevich. 

Watch part of Greenwald’s interview above.