We, the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven of Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union, strongly condemn the unprecedented measures taken by the Belarusian authorities to arrest the independent journalist Roman Protasevi and his companion Sophia Sabija after their flight FR4978 were forced to land in Minsk On May 23.
Doing so has put the safety of all passengers and crew on board the flight. It was also a serious attack on the rules governing civil aviation. All of our countries and all of our citizens depend on all nations to act responsibly to fulfill their obligations under the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, so that civil aviation can operate in safe conditions. We call on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to respond categorically to this question about its regulations and standards.
This measure also constitutes a serious attack on the freedom of the media and the press, and we demand the immediate and unconditional release of Roman Protasevic and all journalists and political prisoners held in Belarus.
We will intensify our efforts, if appropriate through further sanctions, to increase accountability of the Belarusian authorities for their actions.