Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, discusses Belarus' diversion of a Ryanair flight and the European Union's response:
What is really happening with Belarus?
Well, what Lukashenko did yesterday was completely unacceptable. It was air piracy, state sponsored air piracy. And if this is allowed to stand, then no one can fly in the world. If dictators all over the world can pick aircraft out of the sky with a fighter or two in order to arrest people that they dislike, then the entire regime of commercial air transport in the world is gone.
What will the EU do?
I think you will see quite strong EU reaction coming out of the meeting that is ongoing as we speak in Brussels. I think you will see Belarus airspace declared unsafe. I think the Belarus state airline is, in terms of its link with Europe, is in for trouble. But then I think there has to be a wider response together with the Americans as well, in order to really see Belarus as a bandit within the entire system of international commercial air transportation and take measures accordingly.