Transportation moves to ban airline ticket sales to Belarus amid arrest of opposition journalist

Transportation moves to ban airline ticket sales to Belarus amid arrest of opposition journalist
© Greg Nash

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has moved to ban airline ticket sales to Belarus amid the arrest of an opposition journalist.

The Department issued an order proposing to prohibit the sale of passenger air transportation tickets between the U.S. and Belarus, the agency said in a statement.

The move comes a month after Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenka forced the landing of a Ryanair fight and arrested Raman Pratasevich, who was a journalist and critic of Lukashenka’s regime.

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The flight was forced to land in Minsk during a trip from Lithuania to Greece. Pratasevich and his girlfriend Sofiya Sapega were then taken off the plane and arrested.

President BidenJoe Biden White House: US has donated 200 million COVID-19 vaccines around the world Police recommend charges against four over Sinema bathroom protest K Street revenues boom MORE condemned the diversion as a “direct affront to international norms,” and said his administration was working to “develop appropriate options to hold accountable those responsible.”

The Biden Administration imposed sanctions last week on dozens of Belarus officials and several entities in response to the diversion.

One set of sanctions targeted 16 officials with close ties to the Belarusian leader. The other set targeted five entities in relation to Lukashenka’s violent response to peaceful protests of August’s presidential election, which is considered fraudulent.

The U.S. imposed the sanctions in coordination with Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union.