The United Kingdom’s proposal on slapping restrictions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline after the incident with a Ryanair jet in Minsk is ridiculous and is reminiscent of Russophobia, Russian State Duma (the lower house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky told TASS on Monday.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the parliament that London would consider a proposal on imposing restrictions against two gas pipelines, Nord Stream 2 and Yamal-Europe, in the wake of the incident with the Ryanair jet. Raab called for consultations with partners and voiced doubt that "this kind of action could be taken without at least the acquiescence of the authorities in Moscow."
"The attempts to project onto Moscow the incident with the landing of the plane in Minsk are absurd. Moreover, any deliberations on sanctions against Nord Stream 2 are just ridiculous and are reminiscent of an aggressive Russophobic nonsense," Slutsky said.
"Ms. [White House Press Secretary Jen] Psaki has already tried to make Belarus a great naval power, crediting it with ‘coasts.’ London in the same style apparently plans to make Minsk a "major exporter of gas to Europe," forgetting that Belarus itself buys blue fuel from Russia," the MP said. "It’s unclear what Nord Stream 2 has to do with this." "This is on the conscience of geography teachers of today’s Western politicians," he stated.
A Vilnius-bound Ryanair flight that took off from Athens was forced to make an emergency landing at Minsk International Airport on May 23 after a reported bomb threat. The plane landed safely and no bomb was found on board. Roman Protasevich, one of the co-founders of the Nexta Telegram channel, which was recognized as extremist in Belarus, was among the passengers. Protasevich, currently living in Lithuania and wanted in Belarus, was detained after the airliner had landed in the Belarusian capital. The plane left Minsk and continued on to Vilnius later that day.