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Belarus: Ukraine must apologise for returned Belavia flight - Belarusian officials

1 02.11.2016 Инфо

Belarusian officials demanded an apology from Ukrainian authorities for an incident that took place on October 21 in the skies above Ukraine when a Belavia flight en route to Minsk was ordered to return to Kiev, speaking at a press conference in the Belarusian capital on Wednesday.
The general director of Belavia, Anatoli Gusarov, said that "what has happened is beyond international legal boundaries and the regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation." He said he regretted that Ukrainian officals "understood this issue in a different way."
Vladimir Kostin who heads the Aviation Department at the Belarus Transport Ministry, stated that the order of the Ukrainian authorities had forced the crew to take a risk, since "there was little time for landing, [at] high altitude; the pilots had to drift down vertically at high speed, to stop the plane and so on." He praised the crew, saying they had successfully "provided safety for all passengers, saved lives, saved an expensive plane."
On October 21, Belavia’s Boeing 737 was some 50 kilometres (31 miles) from the Ukrainian-Belarusian border with 136 passengers and six crew members on board when a Ukrainian flight operations officer ordered the Belavia captain to return to Kiev’s Zhuliany airport. Upon landing, one of the passengers, a journalist known for his anti-Maidan views, Armen Martirosyan, was detained.