Lukashenko responds to Macron’s urge to leave president’s post voluntary

Lukashenko responds to Macron’s urge to leave president’s post voluntary”

Belarus police on Sunday arrested several people before an opposition march in support of protest figure Svetlana Tikhanovskaya days after the country's leader was secretly sworn in despite historic protests.

He called for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to handle mediation on Belarus and vowed that Paris "will do everything it can to ensure this mediation comes into being".

The Interior Ministry said that about 200 demonstrators were arrested throughout the country on Sunday.

"We have elected our president", said protester Eleonora Naumova, holding a portrait of Lukashenko's opposition rival Tikhanovskaya.

Tsikhanouskaya said Macron promised her to help negotiate with the Belarus authorities and secure the release of the political prisoners. He spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin who had promised him comprehensive assistance upon request.

"We will do our best as Europeans to help mediate", Macron told reporters after the talks during his visit to Lithuania.

Some dubbed the protest a "people's inauguration" of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Mr Lukashenko's main opponent who fled into exile after the August 9 election that critics have said was blatantly rigged to hand the incumbent president a sixth term.

Lukashenko has been in power for 26 years and has insisted that he has no intention of stepping down and denies electoral fraud.

Macron warns Lukashenko 'must go' as 100000 continue Belarus protest | ITV News

President Emmanuel Macron of France will meet with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda today in Vilnius.

Tikhanovskaya, whose blogger husband remains in a Belarus prison, also on Monday called for European Union sanctions against businesses that support Lukashenko's government.

Ahead of Macron's visit to Vilnius, he told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper it was "clear that Lukashenko has to go", adding that he had been impressed by the courage of the protesters.

In a speech Saturday to the virtual UN General Assembly, Belarus' foreign minister warned Western nations against interfering or imposing sanctions over the country's disputed presidential election and the government's violent crackdown on protesters.

Lukashenko has also jailed or forced out most of the country's prominent opposition activists.

"She will return to Belarus in a month".

Macron is expected later in the day to visit French soldiers serving as part of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation battlegroup in the Lithuanian town of Rukla.

More news: Australia COVID-19 hot spot says cases fall to single digits

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