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2020.10.16 15:40

Lithuanian president calls on EU to ignore Minsk's search warrant against Tikhanovskaya

BNS2020.10.16 15:40

After the Minsk government put Belarus opposition figure Svetlana Tikhanovskaya on the international wanted list, Lithuania's president says that EU countries should just ignore the warrant.

“Illegitimate dictator puts #Belarus opposition leader #Tsikhanouskaya on the international list of #wanted persons. Do hope that #EU countries will remain united & ignore this illegal warrant. #Tsikhanouskaya may be wanted in Belarus but #EU should keep all doors open for her,” Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda tweeted on Friday.

The Belarusian government said that Tikhanovskaya, who took refuge in Lithuania following the August 9 presidential election, had been placed on the international wanted list for her role in the Coordination Council.

Minsk accuses the council of seeking to “destabilise the social and political, economic and information situation in the country” and “undermine the national security of Belarus”.

Meanwhile Tikhanovskaya commented that any charges against her would be dropped once Alexander Lukashenko was deposed.

“Nothing new for me. We have only one way, which is to win, and we'll definitely win,” she told reporters in Vilnius. “And then all those put on the wanted list and those against whom various charges have been brought will have these charges dropped.”

Tikhanovskaya said that she sees her future in Belarus “after the change of power, after it becomes a safe country where the law is respected”.

Belarus' Investigative Committee confirmed earlier on Friday that the former presidential candidate had been placed on the international wanted list on charges of incitement to undermine national security.

Tikhanovskaya said the move would not affect her activities in any way.

The former presidential candidate came to Lithuania in August shortly after refusing to accept Alexander Lukashenko's victory in the presidential election which the opposition and the West say was rigged.

As part of her efforts to rally international support for Belarusians protesting against the regime, she met with Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne in Vilnius on Friday.

Read more: Canadian FM in Vilnius pledges support to Belarus opposition