Belarusian opposition leader Tikhanovskaya ‘safe’ in Lithuania, says Baltic country’s FM

The main opposition candidate who ran against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in a contentious election is currently in Lithuania, the country’s foreign minister has announced.

“Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is safe. She is in Lithuania,” Linas Linkevicius tweeted on Tuesday.

The Lithuanian foreign minister had posted a message several hours earlier saying that he had “tried to reach” Tikhanovskaya but that her whereabouts were unknown even to her own staff. He said that he was “concerned about her safety.”

Tikhanovskaya had previously called for the presidential election to be annulled. Concerns about Tikhanovskaya’s safety emerged after Belarusian security services claimed that they had foiled a plot to assassinate her. However, the opposition denied asking for police protection.

Belarus has been rocked by protests since it was announced that Alexander Lukashenko had secured re-election with almost 80 percent of the vote. Opposition activists claim that the results are fraudulent. Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in the capital Minsk and other cities, resulting in violent clashes with security forces.

Lukashenko has blamed the post-election unrest on foreign meddling, claiming that Poland, Great Britain, and the Czech Republic were behind the demonstrations. 

Polish and Czech officials have denied the accusations.

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