BRUSSELS (AP) — Belarus’ isolation deepened Tuesday as commercial jets avoided its airspace, the European Union worked up new sanctions, and officials expressed concern for the welfare of an opposition journalist who was arrested after being pulled off a plane that was diverted to Minsk in what the West called a state-sponsored hijacking.
The dramatic developments put a spotlight on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s iron-fisted rule and suppression of dissent — but it was not clear what effect more sanctions or other measures would have.
“Additional sanctions? Will this be sufficient? I absolutely can’t say today,” said French President Emmanuel Macron. But, he added: “The unacceptable character of what happened … justifies them.”