Russia’s Interior Ministry has included Belarusian opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya in the interstate wanted list. It is available on the official website.
At the same time, the ministry fails to give the reason behind such a step or specify the article of the Criminal Code in accordance with which she is wanted.
It is the Belarusian authorities that put out a search for Tsikhanouskaya, but it will also be carried out in Russia, since interstate search is the case’, news agency TASS reports, citing a source in law enforcement bodies.
According to the Belarusian Central Election Commission, 80.1% of voters supported Alyaksandr Lukashenka in the 2020 presidential election. Belarusian officials state that his strongest opponent Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya got 10.12% of votes. However, on the back of announcing the results of the official exit polls, Belarusians started to take to the streets, claiming that their votes were stolen.
In the wake of the brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters, Tsikhanouskaya initiated the creation of the Coordination Council (СС) as part of taking urgent measures to restore law and order in Belarus as well as to ensure the transfer of power in the country. Belarus’ Prosecutor General opened a criminal case over establishing the Council, naming it a ‘threat to national security’. The authorities believe the body aims at seizing power in Belarus.
The members of the CC board were jailed (Liliya Ulasava, Maryia Kalesnikava, Maksim Znak) or forced out of the country (Pavel Latushka, Volha Kavalkova, Svyatlana Alexievich). Another member, strike movement activist Syarhei Dyleuski, was released on September, 18 after spending 25 days in prison. Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya was also compelled to leave Belarus; now she is staying in Vilnius.
In early September, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that Moscow’ sees no sense in establishing contacts with representatives of the Coordination Council of the Belarusian opposition until the Council obtains a legal status and a clear program’. Russia recognised Lukashenka’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, he added.
In an interview with Russian media outlet RBC, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya made mention of Moscow’s and Putin’s wisdom. In her opinion. Putin sees that the Belarusian people are not taking Lukashenka for the head of state.