EU, Germany, Britain pressure Belarus on snatched opposition figure

EU, Germany, Britain pressure Belarus on snatched opposition figure

The 66-year-old former state farm director has rejected criticism from the United States and the European Union, which said the August 9 election was neither free nor fair and shrugged off their demands to open a dialogue with the opposition.

Lukashenko said his supporters would be attacked if he left power, said Babayan, editor-in-chief of the Moscow Talks radio station.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said the members of the opposition council only want to allow the people of Belarus to "choose their future themselves".

"They are no sort of opposition".

"They have stolen our country, and now they are trying to abduct the best of us", Alexievich said.

Belarus, in seeking to end a month of demonstrations since the presidential election on August 9, has used similar tactics to force other opposition figures out of the country.

Last week, Belarusian authorities allegedly drove prominent opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova to the border with Ukraine a day after she was snatched from the street in Minsk but she tore up her passport so they could not force her to cross, two of her allies say.

Witnesses said unidentified men had seized Kolesnikova and drove her away in a minibus marked "Communications".

Belarusian police were quoted as saying they had not detained her.

Two fellow opposition figures, Anton Rodnenkov and Ivan Kravtsov told a news conference in Kyiv that they had been detained by Belarusian officials in plain clothes, who escorted them to the border and then put Ms Kolesnikova into their vehicle and told them to cross.

"She was detained in connection with the circumstances under which they (the group) left the territory of Belarus", he said.

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I thought it was important families were aware, so they could be particularly vigilant with their children's social media". Despite repeated calls from officials to remove the clip , the suicide footage has remained on the app.

"After that, she opened the window and got out (through the window) and walked towards the Belarusian border".

Her lawyer, Ilya Salei, was also detained Wednesday.

Maria Kolesnikova, a member of the Coordination Council created by the opposition to facilitate talks with the longtime leader on a transition of power, had been detained Monday in the capital of Minsk along with two other council members.

Speaking to reporters from her apartment, she said she doesn't plan to leave the country despite the official pressure. "All responsibility for her life and health is on Alexander Lukashenko, the dictator of Belarus".

The news agency said Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Russia's Finance Minister told executives at state-owned lenders Sberbank, VTB and VEB to ensure their units in Belarus are well stocked with Russian rubles as ongoing protests have triggered a large-scale withdrawal of deposits and threaten to spark a financial crisis in Russia's post-Soviet neighbor.

Mass unrest since then has seen at least four people killed and hundreds injured as the government tries to stamp out dissent.

Veronika Tsepkalo, another woman who campaigned against Mr Lukashenko alongside Ms Kolesnikova and Tsikhanouskaya, fled to Poland in recent weeks.

Tsikhanouskaya called on Russian Federation to "support the Belarusian people" in a video message on Wednesday, describing Russian Federation as leading a "propaganda campaign" against the protest movement.

Ms Kolesnikova's whereabouts were unclear.

The 65-year-old Belarusian strongman's relationship with Putin had soured ahead of the ballot because Minsk refused closer integration with Russian Federation and even claimed Moscow had sent mercenaries across the border to organise riots.

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