British Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a meeting in London with the leader of the Belarusian opposition and former presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. During the conversation, he expressed support for “civil society and democracy in Belarus”, transfers TASS.
“We are clearly on your side. We actively support what you do. Glad to see you, – said Boris Johnson, addressing Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. – I think the UK was one of the first countries to impose kidnapping sanctions [блогера] Roman Protasevich, the plane with which was deployed in the air. “
Thus, the British Prime Minister recalled the incident with an emergency landing at the Minsk airport of the liner of the Irish airline Ryanair, following the Athens-Vilnius route on 23 May. The pretext for landing the plane was a message about an explosive device on board. To accompany the aircraft, a MiG-29 fighter was taken into the air. After landing, information about mining was not confirmed. But it became known that on board the plane was Roman Protasevich – one of the founders of the opposition Telegram-channel Nexta, recognized as extremist in Belarus. He was detained by employees of the Belarusian law enforcement agencies. The security forces also arrested Protasevich’s companion, a Russian woman, Sofya Sapega.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said that the meeting with Johnson took place in a “warm atmosphere.” “It is important to know that one of the most influential countries in the world supports Belarus,” she said, adding that she and the British prime minister share “common democratic values”.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya enlisted support on both sides of the Atlantic
Last week, the leader of the Belarusian opposition was adopted at the White House by US President Joe Biden. “I’m not alone here. Behind my back are 36 thousand Belarusians who have gone through arrests and torture. 10 of them died. But they all spoke in my voice at this meeting. As a Belarusian, I am proud of my people, which rebelled against the regime and has been opposing it for a year now, ”Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said after a conversation with Biden.
She stressed that the solution to the political crisis that has arisen in Belarus can only be “new free elections under international control, and all political prisoners should be released without any conditions.” “The crisis in Belarus should be included in the international agenda, in the UN and OSCE, and all those responsible should be brought to justice in international courts,” Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said.
July 20 Svetlana Tikhanovskaya met with the US President’s National Security Assistant Jake Sullivan. Washington said that “the United States, together with partners and allies, will continue to hold the Lukashenka regime accountable for its actions, including by imposing sanctions.” Jake Sullivan also reiterated the Biden administration’s demand that the Lukashenka regime allow a credible international investigation into the May 23 events, immediately release all political prisoners, and engage in “a comprehensive and genuine political dialogue with leaders of democratic opposition and civil society groups that will lead to free and a fair presidential election monitored by the OSCE, ”a White House National Security Council press release said. Document quoted “Voice of America”.
July 19 Svetlana Tikhanovskaya met in Washington with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, his deputy for political affairs Victoria Nuland and State Department adviser Derek Scholle. As Tikhanovskaya’s Telegram channel reported, the meeting discussed the hijacking of a Ryanair plane, attacks on civil society and the media and organized by the Belarusian regime. illegal migration to Lithuania as an attempt to take revenge on the EU sanctions.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya also called on the United States to develop an emergency package for Belarusian independent media, YouTube projects and investigative journalists. In addition, she asked Blinken “to expand assistance to civil society, repressed citizens, political prisoners and their families, to increase the number of scholarship programs to support students and researchers, and to assist private business in Belarus.”
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said that the US authorities should convey to Russia that the signed contracts and agreements with the current government of Belarus will not be legally recognized.
In mid-July, the leader of the Belarusian opposition met with Irish Foreign and Defense Minister Simon Coney and Irish Prime Minister Michol Martin.
On June 20, Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Vilmes met with Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. This happened on the eve of the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union in Luxembourg.
Presidential elections were held in Belarus on August 9, 2020, in which, according to the official data of the CEC, the incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won. He has held this post for 27 years. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya did not recognize the election results. She was forced to leave the country and go to Lithuania. Later, on her initiative, the Coordination Council of the Opposition was created, which declared its purpose to ensure the transfer of power in Belarus.
In Belarus, criminal cases have been initiated against a number of opposition leaders, including calls for the seizure of power, the creation of an extremist group, a conspiracy to seize state power by unconstitutional means, and an attempted terrorist attack. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who is also a defendant in criminal cases, is included in the list of persons involved in terrorist activities. Minsk is seeking her extradition.