26 May 2021

Exiled Belarussian opposition leader wants more sanctions

From Morning Report, 6:47 am on 26 May 2021

The exiled Belarussian opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, has called for further hard hitting sanctions that will isolate the regime of President Alexander Lukashenko.

Tikhanovskaya said there was no doubt that the journalist Roman Protasevich - arrested after his commercial flight was diverted to Minsk on Sunday - has been tortured.

The whereabouts of Protasevich is unknown although Belarus officials released a video of the dissident blogger, with critics saying he appears under duress.

US president Joe Biden accused the Belarus government of a "shameful assault" on political dissent.

At a summit in Brussels, EU leaders decided to ban Belarusian airlines from European skies, while EU airlines will stop flying over Belarus.

Moscow correspondent Julia Chapman spoke to Corin Dann.