Updated at 17:19,07-01-2021

Senior MEP detained at Minsk airport for hours


Germany’s Rebecca Harms, a senior member of the European Parliament, spent six hours at Minsk National Airport’s border checkpoint before being allowed to enter Belarus.

Ms. Harms was traveling to Minsk to attend Chernbobyl +30, an international conference organized by Green Network and the Belarusian Party of the Greens with support from the Heinrich Boell Foundation’s office in Kyiv, the World Wind Energy Association and the European Green Party.

According to the website of the Belarusian Anti-Nuclear Campaign, Ms. Harms, who leads the Greens/European Free Alliance group in the European Parliament, managed to get to Sunday’s conference on time.

Ms. Harms, an outspoken critic of the Kremlin`s policies, says that she was detained at the airport because of the Belarusian State Border Committee’s cooperation with Russian authorities, which have banned her from entering Russia.

Speaking at the conference, Ms. Harms noted that the European Union was financing the construction of a new shell to replace the aging and hastily-built sarcophagus over the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

Ms. Harms said that Europe was at the risk of another major nuclear accident, especially considering the possibility of terrorist attacks on nuclear power plants. She called for the closure of all existing nuclear plans and warned against the construction of new ones.