German Chancellor Angela Merkel believes that Russia's role in the story of the forced landing of a Ryanair plane in Minsk and the subsequent arrest of opposition blogger Roman Protasevich remains unclear. "It is well known that there are close relations between Belarus and Russia," she said at a press conference following the EU summit on Tuesday, May 25. As an example, confirming Moscow's possible involvement, Merkel mentioned the fact that some passengers of the plane did not fly to Vilnius after the incident, AFP news agency reports.
However, according to the Chancellor, the summit participants "did not have reliable information about Russia's role", so she intends to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin during their next conversation about this.
The Federal Chancellor called the actions of the Belarusian regime unprecedented and unacceptable. She expressed concern about the condition of Roman Protasevich. Merkel described as "as disturbing and shocking" a short video published by the Belarusian authorities, in which the arrested blogger, among other things, claims that he admits his guilt and is treated in accordance with the law. "This makes our demand for his release only more urgent. And we will use all the channels available to us," Merkel said.