Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has been declared wanted by Russia, said the country’s interior ministry.
The 38-year-old woman, who fled to EU member state Lithuania after claiming she defeated longtime leader Alexander Lukashenko in August elections, is wanted on criminal charges, Russia’s Interior Ministry told AFP on Wednesday.
Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported that Tikhanovskaya in Belarus has been accused of publicly calling for damage to state security, including demanding to seize power.
Russian news outlets quoted law enforcement agencies as saying her appearance on the list appeared automatically due to Moscow’s obligations as part of a union state with neighboring Belarus.
However, Belarus is yet to announce any similar moves on Tikhanovskaya. Belarusian Interior Ministry spokesman Olga Chemodanova told the independent state news site Tut.by that there is no information in that regard so far.
The campaign office of Tikhanovskaya told Russian news agency Interfax that they don’t know anything about the situation. They said Svetlana has not received any news yet but the news is of no interest to them.
Many of Tikhanovskaya’s main allies were arrested on charges of publicly calling for damage to state security. Some have also fled the country due to threats from the authorities.
Despite tough police tactics, including the use of tear gas and water cannons to support Tikhanovskaya’s call for new elections in line with international standards, large crowds gather every weekend after the election to protest in Belarus.