Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko spoke publicly on Wednesday to defend his actions, insisting that the bomb threat was real and that the diversion of the Ryanair flight had taken place near a nuclear power plant.
Belarusian President defends decision to divert Ryanair flight
“I had to protect people, I was thinking about the country’s security,” Alexander Lukashenko said in an address to lawmakers in Minsk.
However, he also accused domestic and foreign “ill-wishers” of using the incident to attack the country.
During his speech, Mr Lukashenko did not mention the arrest of Mr Protasevich.