French President Emmanuel Macron will meet Belarusian opponent Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in Vilnius on Tuesday, Elisha announced on Monday.
The French leader, who called on Moscow-backed Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to step down, will be the first international leader to meet with the Belarusian opposition leader, in exile in Vilnius, the capital of neighboring Lithuania.
The Belarusian opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, had already called on the French president on Friday to be the mediator in the crisis in Belarus, expressing the willingness to meet Macron during his visit to Lithuania, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. market.
The opponent has been in Lithuania since August 11, two days after the presidential elections in Belarus.
We urgently need mediation to prevent more blood from being spilled. Macron can be this mediator and influence Putin, with whom he has good relations, ”Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said on Monday.
“Macron and France are known to have intervened in many other cases. Of course, we would prefer to solve this problem ourselves, but we see that the atrocities continue, the Belarusian people are suffering and the authorities are not entering into dialogue, ”Tikhanovskaya added.
“Macron is one of the most powerful leaders in Europe and the world and could be at least one of the mediators,” the opponent reaffirmed after the suggestion he made of a meeting with the leader of the Elisha, yet confirmed.
On Sunday, on the eve of his departure for Vilnius, the French president clearly called for the departure of the Belarusian head of state, Alexander Lukashenko, whose election was not recognized by the European Union (EU) and the United States, which considers the results to be fraudulent.
“Lukashenko must go,” Macron said in an interview, saluting the courage of Belarusian demonstrators who once again marched by the thousands on Sunday against the regime. The Belarusian opponent said she was “very satisfied” with this declaration, but she now expects concrete support from France and Europe.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya ran for president on August 9 after the arrest of her husband, also an opposition candidate. The 38-year-old remains very discreet about the circumstances under which she left Belarus on August 11.
All I can say is that I went to the Election Commission at 3:00 p.m. and by 3:00 a.m. (the next day) I was already crossing the border with Lithuania. My departure was obviously not voluntary, ”he said, without providing further details.
The Central Election Commission approved Lukashenko’s victory, with 80.1% of the vote, against 10% of its biggest opponent, Svetlana Tikanovskaya, who considers the vote to be fraudulent. Despite strong protests with hundreds of thousands of people, which have taken place every week since August 9 and the international position, Alexander Lukashenko took office last week.