Any attempt by the Belarusian authorities to demand the extradition of ex-presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya from Lithuania is doomed to failure, said Lithuanian Deputy Foreign Minister Mantas Adomenas in an interview with Deutsche Welle.
"Lithuania does not extradite people who are subjected to political persecution. Minsk is well aware of the answer we will give them," the deputy foreign minister said.
According to him, any request for Tikhanovskaya's extradition would be a "purely ritual action", which is well understood by the leadership of Belarus.
Adomenas also expressed doubt that the refusal to extradite Tikhanovskaya to Belarus could worsen the already tense relations between the two countries. "Our ambassador was recalled for consultations in October last year. Now Lithuania is represented in Belarus by a temporary charge d'affaires. It is hardly possible to make official relations even worse," the deputy minister explained.
Presidential elections in Belarus were held between August 4 and August 9. According to the Central Election Commission of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power for 26 years, received 80.1% of the votes, and 10.1% voted for his main opponent Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.
The results of the elections in Belarus were not recognized by the United States, Canada, Great Britain and the countries of the European Union, including Belarus’ geographical neighbors - Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
The Belarusian opposition also did not recognize the results of the elections because of mass fraud at polling stations and formed the Coordinating Council for the Transfer of Power. Since August 10, 2020, after the announcement of preliminary results, protests began in the country. They have been severely suppressed by the country's security forces.