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EU prohibits Belarusian air carriers to land in, take off from or overfly EU territory

The EU Council has reacted by the means ofRegulation 2021/907 to the unlawful forced landing of an intra-EU Ryanair flight in Minsk, Belarus, on 23 May 2021 and the subsequent detention by Belarusian authorities of journalist and opposition blogger Raman Pratasevich and Sofia Sapega.

It shall now be prohibited for any aircraft operated by Belarusian air carriers (meaning any air transport undertaking holding a valid operating licence or equivalent issued by the competent authorities of Belarus), including as a marketing carrier in code-sharing or blocked-space arrangements, to land in, take off from or overfly the EU territory.

This prohibition does not apply in the case of an emergency landing or an emergency overflight.

Member States may as well authorize any landing, take-off or overflight that is required for humanitarian purpose.

Regulation 2021/907 amends Council Regulation (EC) No 765/2006 which already provides for the freezing of funds and economic resources of, and prohibits making funds or economic resources available to, persons, entities or bodies responsible for serious violations of human rights or the repression of civil society and democratic opposition, or whose activities otherwise seriously undermine democracy or the rule of law in Belarus or who benefit from or support the Lukashenka regime. It also prohibits the provision of technical assistance related to the goods and technology listed in the Common Military List of the European Union or related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance and use of such goods. It imposes a ban on the export of equipment which might be used for internal repression to any person, entity or body in Belarus or for use in Belarus, and prohibits the provision of related technical assistance, brokering services, financing or financial assistance.

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