Pratasevich, a former editor of the influential Telegram channels Nexta and Nexta Live, was detained by police after his Ryanair flight from Greece to Lithuania was diverted over Belarusian airspace when the Minsk government said Lukashenko ordered his military to scramble a Mig-29 fighter to escort the plane.
Ryanair said in a statement that the flight crew of the diverted aircraft was notified by air traffic controllers in Belarus of "a potential security threat on board and were instructed to divert to the nearest airport, Minsk".
A package of punitive measures agreed upon during an emergency meeting of the European Council on Monday night also called for further economic sanctions against Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and his associates.
"We can not allow this incident to pass on the basis of warnings or strong press releases", Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told state broadcaster RTE.
"I think there has to be real edge to the sanctions that are applied on the back of this".
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has summoned the Belarusian Ambassador over the United Kingdom's deep alarm at the Belarusian authorities' reckless actions yesterday.
Coveney's Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio denounced the move as "state hijacking".
"The outrageous and illegal behaviour of the regime in Belarus will have consequences", EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen tweeted, calling for Protasevich's immediate release and adding that those responsible "must be sanctioned".
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called for a "strong and united response" from the European Union as the bloc's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell slammed "yet another blatant attempt by the Belarusian authorities to silence all opposition voices".
He termed Sunday's incident "unprecedented state terrorism on the part of the Republic of Belarus".
U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken called the incident "shocking" and appealed for Pratasevich's release.
The statements call for a ban on all flights over Belarus, including to and from the country, and for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and European Union states to impose sanctions on the country and suspend Belarus' "ability to use Interpol". "Allies are consulting on the forcible landing of the Ryanair plane by Belarus and ambassadors will discuss it tomorrow", a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation official told AFP Monday.
Passengers told reporters after landing in Lithuania that Pratasevich knew he was the reason for the change of direction in Belarus.
"I saw this Belarusian guy with girlfriend sitting right behind us".
Ryanair's CEO, Michael O'Leary, on Monday condemned Belarus' actions, telling the Irish radio station NewsTalk "this was a case of state-sponsored hijacking".
The UK government has been at the forefront of the global response towards Belarus.
"(We) are an apolitical sports organization", said the IIHF, which reluctantly removed Belarus as co-host of the worlds in January after sponsors threatened to withdraw.
"It looks like the kind of story that they nearly don't want you to believe; they just want to show how brazen they are", Cragg added. The Belarus government called the channel "extremist" and charged Pratasevich with inciting mass riots.
Lukashenko and his allies are already under a series of Western sanctions over a brutal crackdown on opposition protests that followed his disputed re-election to a sixth term in August a year ago. In August elections, he arrested most of his opponents and then, according to Western observers, falsified results to produce a crushing victory against the lone remaining candidate, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.