RIGA - Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the leader of the Belarusian democratic movement, during a meeting with Latvian Ambassador to Belarus Einars Semanis on Monday, expressed special gratitude to Latvia's civil organizations for the practical, medical, legal and psychological assistance provided to victims of repression, LETA was told at the Foreign Ministry.
Tsikhanouskaya and representatives of her office met with Semanis and his colleagues from Brussels and Warsaw in Vilnius on Monday.
In the conversation with Tsikhanouskaya, Semanis noted that the Belarusian people’s courage, trust in the ideals of freedom, and hope is admired in Latvia. The ambassador expressed indignation at the regime’s repression of civil society and independent media. A special concern is caused by the hijacking of a European aircraft effected by the Belarusian regime and its deliberate activities to direct the flow of illegal migration to the border of Belarus with Lithuania.
Semanis indicated that Latvia will continue consistently supporting the democratic movement in Belarus in its fight for an inclusive national dialogue, new presidential elections, the release of all political prisoners, ceasing repression, and respect for human rights. The ambassador underlined that it is only the Belarusian people themselves who will decide their future destiny.
Tsikhanouskaya thanked Latvia for its solidarity and support for the Belarusian people and she called for continued assistance to civil society, free media and human rights defenders in Belarus.
The leader of the Belarusian democratic movement noted that support for the democratic movement in international organizations, such as the UN and the OSCE, is greatly appreciated.
As reported, on August 9, 2020, Belarus held a presidential election which resulted in authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko being declared its winner despite protests from the opposition, which claimed the victory of Tsikhanouskaya. The election was widely seen as rigged. Tsikhanouskaya was forced to leave Belarus and is now residing in Vilnius.