VILNIUS – Pressured by Alexander Lukashenko, Belarusians need the international community's attention, says Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, currently living in Lithuania.
She told journalists in Vilnius after her meeting with visiting Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Tuesday that she still has no information on the whereabouts of her associate Maria Kolesnikova who disappeared in Minsk on Monday.
"I really want to say thank you to all the countries who understand our intentions, who support our people in this difficult struggle and who are vocal at the moment," Tikhanovskaya told the press conference at the Norwegian ambassador's residence in Vilnius.
"We feel great pressure from the side of the authorities on our people. Yesterday, one person from our Coordination Council was kidnapped and we still don't know where she is. It's not normal that such stuff is going in the center of Europe in the 21st century," she said.
Tikhanovskaya underlined that Belarusians demand a new and fair election as the August 9 vote was rigged.
"We really want to be happy in our country, we don't want any kind of wars. What's going on in Belarus is absolutely an internal affair and we want all the countries to respect our sovereignty but we need your attention to our country anyway. Pray for us and stay with us and support us in our fight for our freedom," the Belarusian opposition leader said.
Meanwhile, the Norwegian prime minister wished Tikhanovskaya success in her pursuit of a new election and said that Norway is ready to back EU sanctions for the Belarusian regime.
She also added that possible support to the Belarusian opposition should not evolve into a conflict between the East and the West, adding that Belarusians should determine the processes and not to give a basis for accusations that demonstration are allegedly initiated by Europe.
Tikhanovskaya fled Belarus after the August 9 presidential election when she refused to accept Lukashenko's victory. Her husband remains detained in Minsk, and Tikhanovskaya refrains as yet to disclose what measures of pressure forced her to leave her country.