- - Monday, October 24, 2016

Ukraine forced a Belarusian passenger jet to return to the airport in Kiev after threatening the aircraft would be forced down with fighter jets. The plane was airborne and less than 30 kilometers, four minutes of flight time, from the border on its way to Minsk. The Ukrainian government was concerned a person aboard the plane, whom they considered a Russian spy, was carrying information that would threaten Ukraine’s national security.

“When the aircraft landed in Ukraine, one passenger Armen Martirosyan, a joint Russian-Armenian citizen with links to Russian government-owned news agency Rossiya Segodnya (RT) “propaganda” machine, was frogmarched by armed guards for questioning by the SBU secret service,” reports Express.co.uk.

SBU Chief Oleksandr Tkachuk informed the press that that the spy agency wanted to ensure “any threat to both the national interests of Ukraine and the national security of our state has been localised. Our office received information about a foreign citizen and a possible threat to national security of our country. At the time we received this information, the person in question…was on board the Belavia airlines aircraft.”

Upon inspection and interrogation, no device was found on Mr. Martirosyan’s person and he was allowed to continue. The incident has caused a diplomatic row between Ukraine and Belarus, a Russian ally.

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