Date: 8 October 2020

Tikhanovskaya on Russia’s wanted list

Russia’s Ministry of the Interior announced that Belarus’ opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, has been put on their wanted list on “a criminal charge”. TASS – a Eurasian giant’s leading news agency – reports that Tikhanovskaya had already been on a wanted list in Belarus, which means the warrant against her would already be executed because of agreements between the countries. Although the Ministry did not disclose the rationale behind their decision, Russian state news agency – RIA Novosti – identified it to be the same as in Belarus: making public calls to harm the country’s security, including calls to seize power. However, there has been no confirmed information from the Belarusian government regarding Tikhanovskaya’s wanted status. When asked about it, Belarusian Interior Ministry spokeswoman, Olga Chemodanova, answered “So far, I don’t have information that I could tell you.” In response to the entire situation, Tikhanovskaya’s campaign office told the Russian Interfax news agency: “We don’t know about this. Svetlana did not receive any messages. But this is actually of little interest [to us].”

The opposition leader’s international recognition has been growing. This has been reflected in her recent meetings with Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, and many other politicians of high-rank. When asked about her increasing role on the international forum, Vladimir Putin replied: “Madame Tikhanovskaya is not in Belarus. One can hardly say that she is somehow involved in Belarus’ life.”

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