Stoltenberg says Belarus should be punished for criticizing a plane for a sudden increase after the intruder stabbed himself in a Minsk court.
Pressure escalated in Belarus on Wednesday as a NATO official demanded his re-appointment after Minsk changed planes, as well as protests over suicide in court.
Belarus on May 23 flew a military plane to escort a Ryanair flight to Minsk, after which they arrested a freedom fighter Roman Protasevich and a fellow passenger. Belarus is said to have been notified of a bomb threat, but many in the West have seen the disruption and have gone to Protasevich Prison.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday that some members of the transatlantic security alliance were considering continuing to take action after the European Union and the United States put in place measures against Belarus.
“I think the most important thing now is to ensure that the sanctions agreed upon are fully implemented,” Stoltenberg told reporters on a trip to London for talks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“It should be clear that if a government like Minsk violates international law, we will pay for it.”
He appears to be suicidal in court
Stoltenberg’s comments came after a Belarusian human rights activist stabbed himself in a judge’s verdict on Tuesday after telling him that his relatives and neighbors would be tried if he did not plead guilty.
Photographs taken by RFE / RL showed Stepan Latypov lying on a wooden bench inside a prison cell in a Minsk courthouse, with police standing and shouting.
Latypov went to the hospital to follow up on this. Belarusian health officials say they had recovered after undergoing surgery.
A 41-year-old man was arrested in September during a series of anti-government protests. The protests began as a result of an election that gave President Alexander Lukashenko another term.
Latypov was standing in front of a building in Minsk to prevent officials from betting on documents.
He was charged with rioting, police denial and fraud. A state television report falsely accused him of plotting to assassinate police.
He denies everything.
In court, Latypov stabbed himself in the neck with something similar to a pen, Viasna-96 said.
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the main opposition leader in Belarus, said Latypov’s actions “were caused by state terrorism, oppression, persecution in Belarus”.
A plane crash
Minsk’s change of a plane carrying Protasevich, which was flying from Greece to Lithuania but was in the air in Belarus when it was forced to land, angered other countries and saw the EU ban Belarusan planes from space in the bloc.
The Bloc also urged aircraft to avoid flying over the former Soviet regime.
But a Wizz Air official on Wednesday warned the woman’s actions had disrupted the aircraft, saying they had made the business a “political puppet” and could undermine their efforts to survive the COVID-19 epidemic.
“I don’t think this is the right answer,” Joszef Varadi told Reuters. “I don’t think piloting airplanes should be used as a political tool.
“Nothing happened that would jeopardize air safety or security.
“I don’t think anyone is safe for a second. It’s a political measure. This is not security. ”
Protasevich is accused by Minsk of helping to organize anti-government rallies last year.
Lukashenko’s officials have since staged rallies, arresting protesters and protesters.
All the main protesters are in prison or abroad, and several independent journalists have been shut down.