Putin offers Belarus leader support against West in Ryanair plane standoff

Published by
Reuters

By Tom Balmforth and Maria Tsvetkova MOSCOW (Reuters) -Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday offered his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko support in his standoff with the West over his handling of the grounding of a passenger jet and the arrest of a dissident blogger. The West has accused Belarus of piracy after Belarusian air traffic control on Sunday informed the Ryanair pilot of a hoax bomb threat and Minsk scrambled a MiG-29 fighter plane to escort the jetliner down, and then arrested Roman Protasevich, a blogger and critic of Lukashenko, along with his girlfriend. Both are…

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