‘Open interference’: Belarus warns towards inclusion of opposition determine Tikhanovskaya in assembly of EU overseas ministers


Belarus has warned the EU to not embrace opposition figurehead and former presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in an upcoming assembly of the bloc’s overseas ministers, saying it might quantity to open interference.

“It is quite obvious, in fact, that such actions, if any, are an impudent and open interference in the internal affairs” of Belarus, Foreign Ministry spokesman Anatoly Glaz mentioned on Saturday, as reported by the Sputnik information company. Such a move by the European Union would present “complete disrespect” for the nation’s residents, he added.

Glaz’s feedback got here in response to Russian information stories that Tikhanovskaya was anticipated to participate within the assembly, scheduled for September 21.

If Tikhanovskaya participates within the assembly, Glaz warned it might grow to be clear that an try and “undermine Belarus’ sovereignty is being implemented” by the EU. He mentioned Minsk’s place on the matter had been communicated to Brussels. 

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Russia’s Foreign Ministry additionally weighed in, with spokeswoman Maria Zakharova saying that Moscow would think about such a choice by the EU as “more evidence” that the EU was departing from its “earlier statements about the absence of geopolitics” within the disaster.

Earlier this week, the exiled former presidential candidate, who fled to Lithuania following August’s contested election, referred to as on the “international community” to intervene in Belarus. Speaking in a brief video message to the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council, Tikhanovskaya mentioned the world should reply to occasions in Belarus “in the strongest terms” and that the opposition was demanding “free and fair elections,” in addition to the discharge of all “political prisoners.”

Belarus was thrust into disaster on August 9 after longtime chief Alexander Lukashenko claimed victory with greater than 80 p.c of the votes, in what the opposition insists was a rigged election contest. The outcome sparked weeks of mass protests, with hundreds taking to the streets and police responding with tear gasoline, rubber bullets and stun grenades. Lukashenko has accused opposition figures of being in cahoots with overseas meddlers intent on seeing him changed.

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