Bolivia plans to lodge a formal complaint to the United Nations after several European nations denied airspace to President Evo Morales plane. “The decisions of these countries have violated international law.... We are already making procedures to denounce this to the UN Secretary General [Ban Ki-moon],” Bolivia's Ambassador to the UN Sacha Llorenti told reporters in Geneva on Wednesday. Bolivia says France, Spain, Portugal and Italy refused to allow Morales plane, which was flying from Moscow back to Bolivia, to cross their airspace on suspicion of carrying US surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden onboard. Llorenti added that the diversion was an “act of aggression” against his country, and was equal to “kidnapping” the Bolivian president. He also warned that the move might cause “irreparable damage” to diplomatic relations with the European states.
“Bolivia not only condemns these acts, but will take all international legal steps so this is not overlooked,” Llorenti said.Morales's plane was forced to land in Austria en route to Bolivia. The aircraft left Vienna after a stopover of more than 12 hours. “We have no doubt that it was an order from the White House. We have no doubt. For no reason whatsoever a diplomatic plane with a president in that plane should be diverted from its route and forced to land in another country,” Llorenti added. Bolivia’s envoy to the UN mocked the countries which blocked Morales plane and described them as “tools” of the US, saying, “In the 19th century, the colonies were in Latin America, and now we see the colonies are in some countries of Europe.” Bolivia is one of the countries to which Snowden has reportedly applied for asylum. MR/KA/SS