Belarus Opposition Leader to Address UN Security Council

Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya will address the United Nations Security Council on September 4, her team announced Monday.Tsikhanouskaya, who is currently in Lithuania citing fear for her safety, was invited to speak virtually by Estonia, which is a non-permanent member of the Security Council.Meanwhile, Baltic states have imposed travel sanctions on Belarusian leaders, including long-time president Alexander Lukashenko, as protests calling for him to resign continue following a disputed election.”We need peaceful dialogue and agreement between the regime and society, but we see that the regime is not ready for that,” Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said on August 31 while announcing the measures.Protests began when Lukashenko was declared the winner of the presidential election early in August amid widespread allegations of voter fraud – extending his more than two decades in power.Tsikhanouskaya has not accepted the results.Tens of thousands protested in the Belarusian capital of Minsk on Sunday, the president’s 66th birthday. Carrying red and white flags, which have become symbols of the opposition, protesters convened around Lukashenko’s residence, facing security forces carrying shields and backed by prisoner vans and water cannon. According to reports, the crowds dispersed peacefully in the evening, although the Interior Ministry said at least 140 protesters were arrested.Earlier in August, Lukashenkso said that opposition protesters would face a tough crackdown, describing them as “sheep” manipulated by foreign masters.

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