Britain is calling for the immediate release of Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich after he was arrested on "the basis of a ruse", Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Monday, adding London was working with allies on more sanctions against Belarus.
"The UK condemns yesterday's actions by the Belarusian authorities, who arrested journalist Roman Protasevich on the basis of a ruse, having forced his flight to land in Minsk. Mr (President Alexander) Lukashenko must be held to account for his outlandish actions," Raab said in a statement.
"The UK calls for the immediate release of Mr Protasevich and other political prisoners held in Belarus. The UK is working with our allies on a coordinated response, including further sanctions. The UK also calls for the ICAO Council to meet urgently to consider the regime's flouting of the international rules safeguarding civil aviation."
UK lawmaker says Belarus jet incident is a 'warlike act'
The chairman of the British parliament's foreign affairs committee said on Monday that Belarus's use of a false bomb alert and fighter jet to force a civilian airliner to the ground was 'a warlike act'.
"This was a flight between two NATO members and between two EU members," Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Tugendhat told BBC Radio. "If it's not an act of war, it's certainly a warlike act."