Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya: 'Democratic world must show its teeth' over Belarus

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By Euronews
Tsikhanouskaya attends the Munich Security Conference, February 2022.
Tsikhanouskaya attends the Munich Security Conference, February 2022.   -   Copyright  AP Photo

“Belarus rule in regional security is crucial. Our crisis that started in illegal elections and crackdowns spilled over the region,” said Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya, the self-proclaimed leader of democratic Belarus.

“The regime in Minsk became a threat to neighbours to the whole continent and it’s time to stop it right now.”

The winner of the disputed Belarussian election in 2020 spoke with Euronews on Friday before meeting delegates at the three-day Munich Security Council, which began in the Bavarian capital.

Tsikhanouskaya’s attendance comes amid Belarus’ role in the crisis between Moscow and the West. President Alexander Lukashenko has said he is willing for his country to host “nuclear weapons” in the country if Minsk is threatened.

Lukashenko, who has long been an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is also hosting joint war drills in a show of unity against the West.

The opposition leader called for "unified action" from the West, saying the "democratic world must show its teeth".

“If Russian troops won’t leave after the 20th of February we might face an entirely new dynamic and I want to get more support for Belarus here,” said Tsikhanouskaya.

Lukashenko joined his Russian counterpart to observe strategic war drills on Saturday.

Western officials have warned that the military drills in Belarus could be cover for preparations for an invasion of Ukraine and a possible attack on Kyiv.

“The regime in Minsk hides the massive crisis behind the military drills behind the Ukrainian crisis. It blackmailed European migrants, now they are threatening with nuclear weapons and of course, it is shameful,” said Tsikhanouskaya.

Watch the interview with Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya in the video player above.