Macron Meets Tikhanovskaya, Pledges Support For People Of Belarus

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday pledged support for the people of Belarus during a meeting with opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, Delfi reports.

The meeting took place in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, where Tikhanouskaya fled after a crackdown on protesters and opposition figures following the presidential election in Belarus. She told reporters that Macron had promised to help negotiate the release of political prisoners in Belarus.

“He promised us to do everything to help with negotiations, [during] this political crisis in our country […] and he will do everything to help to release all the political prisoners,” she said.

Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya arrives for her meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Vilnius, Lithiania September 29, 2020. Photo: Reuters

“We will do our best as Europeans to help mediate. We had a very good discussion but now we need to be pragmatic and to support the Belarusian people and we will do our best, believe me,” the French leader said.

The European Union said last week it does not recognise Alexander Lukashenko as president, and Macron has said he must voluntarily step down. Emmanuel Macron arrived in Lithuania on 28 September with an official visit.

Photo: t.me/pulpervoi

The French pesident said that he see the meeting as support for Tikhanovskaya, as well as women and the people of Belarus taking part in protests. Macron was going to discuss the OSCE mediation initiative in resolving the ongoing political crisis in the country.