Politics this week | The Economist

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Belarus hijacked a Ryanair plane flying from one EU country (Greece) to another (Lithuania) with more than 100 people on board. The plane was in Belarusian airspace. Citing a “bomb threat”, the authorities sent a fighter jet to make it land in Minsk, the Belarusian capital. They arrested two passengers: Roman Protasevich, an exiled journalist, and his girlfriend. Mr Protasevich had rallied opposition to Alexander Lukashenko, the despot who stole Belarus’s presidential election last year. No bomb was found. Russia applauded Mr Lukashenko’s boldness; the EU mulled sanctions on his isolated regime.

Switzerland said it was walking away from years of negotiations on a new treaty with the EU aimed at harmonising dozens of messy individual deals on trade, investment and the movement of people.

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