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Belarus opposition leader holds vote on Lukashenko talks

March 18, 2021

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya says the OSCE and UN are ready to facilitate negotiations between the opposition and the Belarus government.

Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya
Image: Gints Ivuskans/AFP/Getty Images

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya  launched an online vote to drum up support for her call for talks with the Belarus government.

The exiled opposition leader said the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations were "ready to organize a platform and act as mediators, as well as to force the regime to negotiate." 

"Each of you knows that our country is in crisis. We can resolve it peacefully — by means of internationally mediated negotiations," the opposition leader said on Twitter. 

Tsikhanouskaya had run against Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko in the 2020 election. The disputed result triggered mass protests.

What is the basis for negotiations in Belarus?

The release of political prisoners and an end of the crackdown on the opposition were preconditions for the negotiations, Tsikhanouskaya's office said in a statement.

The statement added that protests could force the government to agree to hold talks. 

From her exile in Lithuania, Tsikhanouskaya has long supported the demonstrations in Belarus against Lukashenko. 

Protests erupted after the presidential election results were announced. Belarusian authorities continue to crackdown on peaceful protesters.

Belarusians reflect on protests

fb/rt (AFP, Reuters)