Exiled Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya on Thursday called on the United States to impose more sanctions to isolate President Alexander Lukashenko, whose election victory Washington considers fraudulent.
“I urge you, the elected representatives of the American people, to continue to act decisively. We call on the United States to engage in international mediation jointly with European partners,” Tikhanovskaya said in a virtual appearance. during a hearing before Congress.
She also called on the United States to “use its diplomacy to further isolate Lukashenko and to stress that its political point of return has passed.”
The Belarusian strongman won for a sixth term in the August elections which were widely criticized internationally and by the opposition as fraudulent.
Tikhanovskaya, 38, who says he won the vote, fled overseas after state authorities arrested hundreds of people participating in mass protests and sentenced many to long sentences from prison. She now lives in Lithuania.
The United States imposed sanctions on nine state-owned companies in Belarus in April in response to the government’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests.
Tikhanovskaya hailed the US Treasury Department sanctions as “among the most effective measures,” but called on the United States to punish other entities in his country.
She also urged the US Congress to consider giving more support to civil society organizations in Belarus, as well as independent media and the private sector, as she told the European Union.
She also said that there had been no major conversation between international powers on how to end the nine-month political crisis in her country.
“We call on the United States to take an active part in organizing such an international conference, involving a wide range of stakeholders,” she said.
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