geopolitics-00338
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko © Mikhail Klimentyev/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

It was Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s personal order to receive the Ryanair plane after it had received a bomb threat, BelTA agency said on Sunday citing the Pul Pervogo Telegram channel close to the presidential administration.

According to BelTA, the president also ordered to scramble a MiG-29 fighter jet to escort the plane.

According to the FlightRadar portal, the Ryanair plane en route from Athens to Vilnius flew across western Belarus near the border with Lithuania and turned to Minsk when it was near the city of Lida.

The Ryanair plane with 123 passengers onboard made an emergency landing at Minsk’s airport on Sunday after the pilots reported that they had received a bomb threat. The plane landed safely. The passengers and their luggage were checked to find no explosive devices.

It was reported after the plane’s landing that former editor-in-chief of the Nexta Telegram channel, which had been recognized as extremist in Belarus, Romat Protasevich was among the passengers. The man was detained.