Posted: 02.02.2022 10:56:00

Sikorsky: West is evidently not satisfied with ICAO conclusions

Artem Sikorsky, the Director of the Transport and Communications Ministry’s Aviation Department, recalled that – on the first day of the 225th session of the ICAO Council – a report of the group in charge of investigating the event involving Ryanair flight in Belarus’ airspace on May 23rd 2021 was considered

“The report contains clear evidence that there was no aircraft interception, its forced landing or actions that caused a change in the course of the plane on the side of Belarus,” Mr. Sikorsky said. “The report also indicates that no responsibility of individuals and states in the act of unlawful interference has been revealed. At the same time, during his speech, a US representative stated about the alleged gaps in the information provided by Belarus.”

“Based on these statements, the ICAO Council proposed to continue the investigation of the circumstances. Belarus, in turn, notes that the document lacks a number of fundamental facts, and a full assessment of what happened is accordingly impossible. In particular, there are no recordings of in-cabin conversations of the aircraft crew members, and also negotiations of the aircraft commander with the Vilnius flight control centre and the Ryanair flight control centre. Moreover, no interrogation of the aircraft commander regarding his decision to change the course near the border with Lithuania to head to the Minsk National Airport is available,” the Director of the Aviation Department added.

Mr. Sikorsky emphasised that Belarus is always ready to liaise with the fact-finding group. “We have provided comprehensive information on all the circumstances of the incident. In particular, the Investigative Committee presented the materials of the criminal case. Based on the ICAO Council decision, the Belarusian side will continue to interact to determine all the circumstances of the incident,” he stressed.