Aircraft of Belarusian airlines will no longer be allowed in the European Union from midnight on Friday.
The EU countries, which want to punish Belarus for the forced landing of a Ryanair flight with a dissident on board, will start that Friday, diplomats say.
As of Saturday, state airline Belavia will no longer be allowed to fly through EU airspace, land or take off there. This also applies to other Belarusian aircraft. EU leaders agreed at their summit in Brussels last week to implement such a ban quickly.
At the insistence of, among others, the Netherlands, economic sanctions will also be imposed to target Belarusian state-owned companies. But those will have to wait a little longer.
The EU is angry about the arrest of journalist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend. They flew with Ryanair over Belarus to Lithuania but were forced by Belarus to land in Minsk.