The Belarusian athlete Kryscina Cimanouska, who received a Polish humanitarian visa and was to fly LOT’s flight to Warsaw on Wednesday, changed her plans at the last minute and flies to Vienna with Austrian Airlines, the Reuters agency reported. According to her source, the plans changed due to security issues and were agreed with Polish diplomats.
This is another twist in the dramatic story of a runner who found refuge at the Polish embassy after refusing to board a plane that was to take her to Minsk, Reuters points out.
Citing a source in the Belarusian community in Japan – a person in contact with Cimanouska – the agency writes that the plans were changed at the last minute due to concerns about her safety. The decision in this matter was to be made together with Cimanouska by the employees of the Polish consulate who accompanied the Belarusian athlete on her way to the Narita international airport.
Kryscina Cimanouska was taken to the airport on Wednesday in a car belonging to the Polish embassy. The police escorted her. She left the building of the Polish facility shortly after 7 a.m. local time (after midnight in Poland). Earlier, another van departed from the Polish embassy, into which the athlete’s luggage was loaded, writes Reuters.
At the airport, Narita got off in a mask, she was wearing blue jeans and a sweatshirt. She did not talk to reporters – the agency describes her last moments in Japan.
The plane with Krysciną Cimanouska is to land in Vienna at 16.05.
The problems of the Belarusian runner
On Sunday, the Belarusian runner informed that due to criticism of the actions of the sports authorities of her country, she was removed from participation in the Olympics in Tokyo, and the officers tried to force her to leave for Belarus via Istanbul.
On Monday, Cimanouska, who reported to the police at the airport the day before and, as a result, did not fly out of Tokyo, received a Polish humanitarian visa at the Polish embassy. Polish diplomats offered her protection and assistance in traveling to Poland. From Monday, the Belarusian woman stayed on the premises of the Polish mission.
Offer of help from Poland
“The Belarusian athlete Kryscina Cimanouska is doing well and thanks all of us for reaching out to help against those who do not wish her well” – wrote the Polish ambassador to Japan, Paweł Milewski, on Tuesday.
For us, the most important thing was to prevent the deportation of Kryscina Cimanouska to Belarus against her will, explained Marcin Przydacz, deputy head of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in an interview with the British Sky News station on Tuesday. Where she wants to pursue her sports career is up to her. She is welcome in Poland – he emphasized.
Kryscina Cimanouska trains in Austria and her trainer also resides there. – She has many opportunities to continue her sports career and it is up to her and her husband whether she will stay in Poland or go to another country in Europe – said Przydacz on Tuesday.
Main photo source: SERGEY DOLZHENKO / EPA / PAP