A Ryanair flight flying from Athens to Vilnius has finally landed at the Vilnius airport after a forced landing in Minsk, Gabrielius Landsbergis said on Sunday, APA reports quoting TASS.
"The plane has landed at the Lithuanian capital’s airport," he told journalists.
There were some 170 passengers from 12 counties, including 90 Lithuanian nationals, onboard the plane.
Roman Protasevich, a co-founder of the Nexta Telegram channel, which had been recognized as extremist in Belarus, was among the passengers. He is wanted in Belarus and is living in Lithuania. The man was detained after the plane’s landing in Minsk.
According to Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, the Belarusian authorities forced the plane to land in Minsk. He slammed the incident as an "act of state terrorism."
Nauseda’s adviser Asta Skaisgiryte said it might have been an operation of Belarus’ special services geared to detain opposition activist Roman Protasevich. "It look very much like a KGB operation because they knew for sure who was onboard the plane," she told journalists. According to the adviser, the Ryanair flight was escorted by a Belarusian MiG-29 fighter jet and a Mi-24 helicopter.