Uncertainty officially hovered until the last moment. But it seemed inconceivable that Emmanuel Macron would spend 24 hours in Vilnius without meeting Svetlana Tsikhanovskaya, the Belarusian opponent in exile. A strong political gesture, agreed on Tuesday, September 29, intended to seal France’s commitment to the side of the demonstrators, mobilized in an exceptional way since the fraudulent presidential election of August 9.
Speaking in the morning to students from Vilnius University, the French president recalled the terms of the French diplomatic engagement. “What Belarus needs is a process through which a peaceful transition will take place, which will recognize all components of civil society, achieve the release of people who are in prison because of that they are politically committed, and to have elections again, in a free framework under international surveillance ”, he listed. Mr. Macron spoke about the Belarusian regime of a “System that is at the end of its rope”. He recalled that France did not recognize, like the EU, the legitimacy of Alexander Lukashenko.
“It would be a mistake and for us an unacceptable provocation for Russia to intervene with armed or police forces in Belarus”, Emmanuel Macron
In addition to the sanctions against those responsible for the repression, which will be discussed at the next European Council, Thursday 1er and on Friday October 2, the French president insisted on the need for a dialogue with Vladimir Putin, to find a negotiated solution to the crisis. “We said very clearly in August that we consider that it would be a fault and for us an unacceptable provocation that Russia intervenes with armed or police forces in Belarus, that it should remain a Belarusian subject and not a subject. intrusion of neighbors, and that together we must push for this mediation ”, said the French head of state. He was referring to the role he would like the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to play.
Petite, surrounded by security agents exceeding her by several heads, impressed by the many microphones held out in her direction, Svetlana Tsikhanovskaya was satisfied with a brief statement as she left the hotel, where she had just met the president French. Obviously satisfied with this interview, the opponent explained that his interlocutor had promised “To do everything to help us lead negotiations in the political crisis facing the country”. On October 7, she will be invited to speak at a public hearing before the Foreign Affairs Committee at the National Assembly.
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