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Diplomatic status of Tikhanovskaya’s office meddling in Minsk’s affairs — lawmaker

Leonid Slutsky also said that "the collective West does not abandon its hope of imposing a change of course on Belarus by putting a puppet leader into office"

MOSCOW, July 5. /TASS/. Western states continue to interfere in the internal affairs of Belarus by cooperating with former presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya despite her potential connection to the organizers of the failed coup attempt, Russian State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs chairman Leonid Slutsky said Monday, commenting on the provision of the diplomatic status to Tikhanovskaya’s office in Lithuania.

"The audacity, with which a number of European states — especially some ‘young European states’ — still interfere in Belarusian internal affairs, continues to surprise. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya now can challenge the notoriety of Juan Guaido [whom the US illegitimately recognized as the president of Venezuela] of Eastern Europe, traveling between foreign capitals and opening ‘representations of the Belarusian people,’ who, by the way, denied her support during the 2020 elections," Slutsky said.

The senior lawmaker noted that this is happening despite "quite specific testimony of opposition blogger Roman Protasevich," who admitted that he worked as a middleman between Tikhanovskaya and the conspirators who prepared the coup. Slutsky also recalled statements made by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who held the US responsible for the attempts of his physical elimination.

"The evidence is more than serious now. One would think, how can Tikhanovskaya’s political career and support still be a thing? Yet it’s like water off a duck’s back. The West prefers not to notice that, and react to all events in Belarus with ‘highly likely’ sort of provocations, the way they did it with the Czech Republic," Slutsky said.

"The collective West does not abandon its hope of imposing a change of course on Belarus by putting a puppet leader into office," the lawmaker concluded.

Earlier, Tikhanovskaya said in her Telegram channel that her office in Lithuania had been designated an official representation of the Belarusian democracy. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielus Landsbergis announced the news at a joint press briefing.