Defiant Lukashenko defends Belarus plane diversion, blasts critics

A defiant President Alexander Lukashenko defends Belarus’s diversion of a European flight and arrest of a dissident on board, lashing out at critics at home and abroad.

In his first public statement since the Ryanair flight was diverted and opposition journalist Roman Protasevich arrested on Sunday, Lukashenko dismisses the international outcry the incident provoked.

“I acted lawfully to protect our people,” Lukashenko says in an address to parliament, the Belta state-run news agency reports.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko speaks during his meeting with parliamentarians, members of Constitutional Commission and representatives of public administration bodies in Minsk on May 26, 2021 (Maxim GUCHEK / BELTA / AFP)

The criticism is nothing more than another attempt by his opponents to undermine his rule, he says.

“Our ill-wishers at home and abroad have changed their methods of attacking the state,” Lukashenko says.


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