European Union Hits Belarus With New Sanctions

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European Union Hits Belarus With New Sanctions
A Ryanair flight was on its way from Greece to Lithuania Sunday, when the authoritarian leader of Belarus sent a fighter jet to escort it to Minsk.
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 European Union leaders are punishing Belarus over what they called a state-sponsored hijacking of a commercial flight.

They're banning Belarusian airlines from flying in the EU – and hitting people linked to the incident with sanctions. 

A Ryanair flight was on its way from Greece to Lithuania Sunday, when the authoritarian leader of Belarus sent a fighter jet to escort it to Minsk.

Authorities then arrested opposition journalist Roman Pratasevich and his girlfriend, Sofia Sapega. He told passengers he feared being killed. The U.S. is condemning the action. 

Press Secretary Jen Psaki said: "This was a shocking act, diverting a flight between two EU member states for the apparent purpose of arresting a journalist. It constitutes a brazen affront to international peace and security by the regime."

Psaki didn't say if this would impact future talks with Russia, Belarus' closest ally.