French President Emmanuel Macron promised on Tuesday during a meeting with Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya to help mediate the Belarusian political crisis.
Macron spoke to Tichanovskaya in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius. “We will do our best to help mediate as Europeans,” Macron said.
Tichanovskaya said after the meeting that Macron would do everything in his power to release all political prisoners.
Tichanovskaya, a candidate in the controversial presidential elections in Belarus on August 9, left for Vilnius after Alexander Lukashenko was declared the winner and started cracking down on protesters. Many were arrested and imprisoned.
In Belarus, demonstrations have been going on for weeks against Lukashenko. A large majority in recent elections re-elected him, but many Belarusians and foreign leaders doubt this result and do not recognize him as president. Macron said on Sunday that Lukashenko must resign.
The French president will visit Lithuania and Latvia, neighbouring countries of Belarus, in the coming days. He holds talks with, among others, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and Latvian President Egils Levits. He will also visit French NATO troops in the region.