EU Leaders Agree on Belarus Sanctions After Plane Diversion

The European Union agreed Monday to impose sanctions against Belarus amid fury over the forced diversion of a passenger jet to arrest an opposition journalist.

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FILE - In this Sunday, March 26, 2017 file photo, Belarus police detain journalist Raman Pratasevich, center, in Minsk, Belarus. Raman Pratasevich, a founder of a messaging app channel that has been a key information conduit for opponents of Belarus’ authoritarian president, has been arrested after an airliner in which he was riding was diverted to Belarus because of a bomb threat. The presidential press service said President Alexander Lukashenko personally ordered that a MiG-29 fighter jet accompany the Ryanair plane — traveling from Athens, Greece, to Vilnius, Lithuania — to the Minsk airport. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits, File)
Image via AP Photo/Sergei Grits

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union agreed Monday to impose sanctions against Belarus, including banning its airlines from using the airspace and airports of the 27-nation bloc, amid fury over the forced diversion of a passenger jet to arrest an opposition journalist. In what EU leaders have called a brazen “hijacking” of the Ryanair jetliner flying from Greece to Lithuania on Sunday, they also demanded the immediate release of the journalist, Raman Pratasevich, a key…

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