US President Joe Biden on Wednesday welcomed Belarusian opposition leader Svyatlana Zhyhanskaya and affirmed its support for efforts to restore democracy and human rights in the former Soviet republic.
“It was an honor to meet Sihanuska at the White House. The United States is defending the people of Belarus in their struggle for democracy and human rights,” the president wrote on his Twitter page.
Jihanuskaga told the Telegram side that she asked Biden to support a nonviolent democratic transition.
As a politician, I am happy with this meeting. President Biden said that there is a struggle in the world between authoritarianism and democracy. Belarus is at the forefront of this battle. I asked Bident to help us make our country a model for a nonviolent democratic transition.
Zyhanskaya stressed that the only way to end the domestic political crisis in Belarus is to hold fair elections under international control. He stressed that the crisis in Belarus should also be on the agenda of the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and that the perpetrators of violations should be brought to justice in international courts.
In Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled the country for more than two decades, won the presidential election last August, with 80.1 percent of the vote, according to official figures. The opposition called the result a fraud and recognized the opposition candidate, Svyatlana Sihanoskaya, as the winner. Mass demonstrations began, and were brutally suppressed by the security forces. Jihanuskaga and several prominent members of the opposition have also sought refuge abroad.
Neither the European Union nor the United States recognized Lukashenko’s victory in the elections and imposed punitive measures on Belarus. (MTI)