MOSCOW – An arrest warrant has been issued against foreign-backed former Belarusian presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya on Russian territory, according to the Russian Interior Ministry database.
“Warrant ground: criminal code clause,” according to the database, TASS reported.
Meanwhile, a source in Russian law enforcement told TASS that the arrest warrant had been initially issued in Belarus, but it also extends to Russia, due to a bilateral agreement between the two countries. However, such interstate arrest warrants are not considered an international issue, the source explained.
“Currently, no international arrest warrant has been issued against former presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya,” the source added.
Foreign-backed mass protests have engulfed Belarus following the August 9 presidential election. According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide, winning 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival in the race, Tikhanovskaya, came in second, with 10.12% of the ballot. However, she refused to recognize the election’s outcome and left Belarus for Lithuania.
After the results of the exit polls were announced late on August 9, foreign actors instigated mass protests, after which violence erupted in downtown Minsk and other major Belarusian cities. During the early post-election period, the rallies snowballed into fierce clashes between the protesters and police.
The current unrest is being cheered on by the opposition’s Coordination Council, which has been beating the drum for more protests, in an attempt to take power by force. In response, the Belarusian authorities have castigated the ongoing turmoil and demanded that these unauthorized demonstrations be stopped.