Opposition Leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya Meets Angela Merkel In Berlin

Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Tuesday, 6 October, Tikhanovskaya’s Telegram channel reports.

The meeting has lasted for 45 minutes. The ex-presidentail candidate told the German chancellor that peaceful rallies in Belarus continue, as the number of political prisoners is increasing.

Photos: Steffen Seibert

“Svetlana stressed that the protests in Belarus are not a struggle against Russia or in favour of Europe: they are a consequence of the internal Belarusian crisis. And a primary goal of the people is new elections. It is important that they be held in the near future, since the people have lived under pressure for 26 years and they do not intend to endure it any longer,” it was reported.

Tikhanovskaya said that “the Belarusian people expect investment support, assistance to independent media and civil organizations to overcome the consequences of the crisis”. Tikhanovskaya presented Angela Merkel with a white-red-white umbrella and the book “Kraina Belarus” in German translation.

Photos: Steffen Seibert

The German Chancellor has yet to comment on the meeting. Head of the German Federal Government’s Press and Information Office and the German government’s spokesperson Steffen Seibert has published photos from the meeting on his official Twitter account.

Recall that last week Merkel said that Germany had not recognise the results of the presidential elections in Belarus, and confirmed the meeting with Tikhanovskaya. She has repeatedly condemned violence against peaceful protesters and hailed courage of women demonstrators.

“When you see the courage shown by the women taking to the streets for a free life without corruption, then I can only say: I admire that and find it truly impressive,” she told German lawmakers last week. On 29 September, French President Emmanuel Macron also had a meeting with the opposition leader.

Tikhanovskaya, who officially received only 10% of the vote in the elections on 9 August, has declared herself national leader. She wants to be a transitional figure until new elections are held. For the past two months, mass protests have rocked the country every weekend, with authorities responding with arrests, violence and threats.