Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

World

Belarus plane interception: Was the move in violation of aviation treaties?, Europe News & Top Stories


Eastern European state Belarus made more enemies than it already has on Sunday (May 23), after intercepting a Ryanair flight carrying dissident journalist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega.

As the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) probes the incident, The Straits Times looks at the gravity of Belarus’ actions and the impact of any potential sanctions.

Q: Did Belarus run afoul of international aviation laws?

A: Belarus’ strongman President Alexander Lukashenko ordered a fighter jet to intercept the Ryanair plane while it was in his country’s airspace and forced it to land in Minsk instead of its original destination of Vilnius in Lithuania.

This coerced landing could contravene the First Freedom of the Air, a core aviation treaty for maintaining international order after World War II that allows planes to fly over other countries without the need to land.

Commercial aircraft can be legally intercepted for safety reasons, such as the bomb threat that the Belarusian authorities claimed to have received from Palestinian militant group Hamas.

But evidence has emerged that the alleged e-mail threat was sent 24 minutes after the plane changed its course. Hamas has also rejected this allegation.

Belarus also risks violating the 1971 Montreal treaty, which outlaws the seizure of aircraft or knowingly communicating false information in a way that endangers aircraft safety.

Q: How have other countries and the aviation authorities responded?

A: The European Union Aviation Safety Agency said it is advising EU airlines and non-EU carriers to avoid Belarus’ airways except in emergencies. This, however, is not mandatory.

United States President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that US sanctions against Belarus are in play, but declined to speculate further.

Russia has stood by its ally, forcing at least two EU airlines from France and Austria to cancel their flights to Moscow after the aviation authorities refused permission to change their routes to bypass Belarus.

Q: Can ICAO actually sanction Belarus?

A: In short, no. Although highly regulated at a national level, aviation lacks a global policeman to avoid disputes over sovereignty.

The ICAO, of which Belarus is a member, is the UN body overseeing international aviation standards, and has started a “fact-finding investigation” into Belarus’ interception.

But the Montreal agency has no actual regulatory power. It wields clout through its safety and security standards, approved by its 192 member states. Under global rules, neither ICAO nor any nation can close another nation’s airspace.

“We wish to remind those who demanded we take punitive action against that country that our agency was never assigned that type of role or capability,” ICAO tweeted on Wednesday.

Minsk has rejected charges that it acted illegally.





Source link

Leave your vote

Comments

0 comments

You May Also Like

Politics

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae.

Finance

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

Politics

Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem eum.

Finance

Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.