Lukashenko says he’ll converse to Belarusian opposition when Putin begins talks with Navalny

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has rejected Moscow’s name for him to take a seat down with opposition leaders, as a substitute suggesting he would achieve this when his Russian counterpart does the identical with jailed determine Alexey Navalny.

Lukashenko refused to entertain the thought after he was requested, in an interview with British state broadcaster BBC, about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s suggestion that the authorities in Minsk ought to start discussions with their political opponents.

Lukashenko explicitly named exiled opposition determine Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who’s now primarily based in Lithuania. Tikhanovskaya was runner-up within the 2020 Belarusian presidential election after her husband Sergey Tikhanovsky was jailed. Following the outcomes, which her supporters consider have been massively falsified, she fled throughout the border. In the time since, Tikhanovskaya has traveled across the West, calling for states to refuse to acknowledge Lukashenko’s reelection as legit.

“He didn’t advise me on anything,” Lukashenko mentioned, referring to a current cellphone name. “I didn’t hear any advice from him on these issues.”

“But, I’ll give you a parallel. As soon as Putin sits down for talks with Alexey Navalny, then I will instantly meet with Svetlana Tikhanovskaya for talks.”

Navalny, essentially the most high-profile Russian opposition determine within the West, is at present in jail for breach of bail situations in what some Western nations have referred to as a politically motivated move.

Despite Lukashenko’s claims on the contrary, Putin did, in actual fact, counsel that Minsk opens talks as a way to resolve the problems that also exist internally.

“We know and understand that, although the situation in Belarus has calmed down inside the country, there are still problems,” Putin mentioned on Thursday. “We are perfectly aware of that, and, of course, we call for a dialogue between the authorities and the opposition.”

The Russian president didn’t specify which opposition figures he meant and due to this fact may have been referring to the jailed Viktor Babariko or the self-exiled Valery Tsepkalo, each of whom have been banned from collaborating in final 12 months’s election. Babariko, who has enterprise connections to Russia, was broadly believed to have been Moscow’s most popular candidate.

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