Moscow put opposition figurehead on wanted list due to obligations to Minsk, says Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov© Press service of the Russian Foreign Ministry/TASS
MOSCOW, November 3. /TASS/. Moscow listed former Belarusian presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya as wanted based on its legal obligations to Minsk, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Kommersant daily.
“The move to put Tikhanovskaya on the wanted list was a solely judicial matter. It is about Russia’s obligations under the CIS treaty on interstate wanted lists dated December 10, 2010,” Lavrov explained.
He added that under the treaty, the Russian Interior Ministry’s Main Informational and Analytical Center maintained a database of wanted persons as part of the Interstate Information Database.
“Tikhanovskaya’s name was added to the database following a request from Belarus,” the Russian top diplomat noted.
Nationwide demonstrations have engulfed Belarus following the August 9 presidential election. According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide, garnering 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival in the race, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, came in second, with 10.12% of the ballot. However, she refused to recognize the election’s outcome, and left Belarus for Lithuania. After the results of the exit polls were announced late on August 9, mass protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other Belarusian cities. During the early post-election period, the rallies snowballed into fierce clashes between the protesters and police. The current unrest is being cheered on by the opposition’s Coordination Council, which has been beating the drum for more protests. In response, the Belarusian authorities have castigated the ongoing turmoil and demanded that these unauthorized demonstrations be stopped.