After the flight was forced to land in Minsk (MSQ) under the escort of an armed Belarusian MiG-29 fighter jet, two passengers identified as opposition journalist Roman Protasevich and his partner Sofia Sapega were arrested by the KGB, the Belarusian security services.
The criticism was nothing more than another attempt by his opponents to undermine his rule, he said, accusing them of waging a "modern, hybrid war" against Belarus. "It is simply clear what these Western friends want from us", he said, speaking of mass election protests in Belarus in 2020.
As Europe continued its crackdown on Belarus on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed close ties with the country during his talks with Lukashenko.
The UK welcomes the ICAO investigation into the Lukashenko regime's forced landing of Ryanair flight FR4978.
In the Polish capital, Warsaw, where they fled months ago, the parents of journalist Roman Protasevich, who was detained after a forced plane landing in Belarus on Sunday, pleaded for global help to secure their son's release.
Protasevich, who helped organize historic demonstrations against Lukashenko's rule a year ago, was arrested along with Russian girlfriend Sofia Sapega, 23, after the plane landed in Minsk.
The ICAO, of which Belarus is a member, has no power to order sanctions and Russia's support for Minsk means the U.N. Security Council is unlikely to agree on a collective statement.
In response to the grounding of the European commercial jet, the European Union banned flights from Belarusian carrier Belavia and urged airlines based in the bloc to avoid flying over the ex-Soviet country.
Following an emergency meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization, the United Nations aviation agency, representatives from the 36 nations composing the Council chose to launch an investigation into the alleged forced diversion of Ryanair flight FR4978 by the Belarus regime.
At a briefing in Vilnius, where she fled to after last year's election, exiled Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya on Thursday called for an "economic boycott of the regime". "No amount of repression, brutality or coercion will bring any legitimacy to your authoritarian regime", she said.
A nervous-looking Protasevich was last seen in a video released by Belarusian authorities on Monday in which he was seen supposedly admitting to helping to organise mass unrest, a charge that could land him in jail for 15 years.
At a press conference in Warsaw, Dmitry Protasevich said his son has been denied access to independent lawyers and doctors.
"We think that he may be in hospital", he told AFP.
"The contracting States recognize that every State must refrain from resorting to the use of weapons against civil aircraft in flight and that, in case of interception, the lives of persons on board and the safety of aircraft must not be endangered".
The announcement follows the Belarusian authorities' diversion of a passenger flight from Greece to Lithuania.
Her lawyer said she had been remanded in pre-trial detention for two months and Russian Federation confirmed she was being detained as a criminal suspect.
The ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States, along with the European Union "condemn in the strongest terms the unprecedented action by the Belarusian authorities", the statement added.