Angela Merkel will meet Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya on Tuesday | News | DW | 02.10.2020

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Angela Merkel will meet Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya on Tuesday

Germany does not recognize Alexander Lukashenko as the winner of August's disputed election in Belarus. Opposition leader Tsikhanouskaya has already met the French president and is now heading for talks in Berlin.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in Berlin on Tuesday for talks.   

"The situation in Belarus after the presidential elections" will be the main topic of discussion, said Merkel's spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer announced Friday.

Merkel has said that Germany, which currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, does not recognize the result of the disputed August 9 election in Belarus, in which President Alexander Lukashenko has claimed victory.

The meeting comes after Tsikhanouskaya met French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday in Vilnius, the highest-profile Western leader to meet the exiled opposition leader.

Merkel told reporters Friday that a range of sanctions imposed on Belarus by the EU were "important to strengthen those who want freedom of speech."

Anti-government protests

Protesters have taken to the streets of Belarusian cities since Lukashenko claimed a sixth term with 80% of the vote in the presidential election. 

Riot police have detained thousands of protesters who have reported torture and abuse in custody. 

Merkel has repeatedly condemned the Belarusian government's actions. 

"When you see the courage shown by the women who are appearing on 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 on Wednesday. 

Tsikhanouskaya fled Belarus in the days following the election after claiming victory and accusing Lukashenko of rigging the vote. 

Watch video 03:34

Belarus: Women stand up to Lukashenko

sri/rt (AFP, Reuters)