Belarusian opposition leader to meet Kersti Kaljulaid in Tallinn Monday

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Svetlana Tikhanovskaya speaking at a UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting in January. Source: Raigo Pajula

Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is visiting Estonia next week, and is to meet with President Kersti Kaljulaid at Kadriorg on Monday morning, the president's office says.

Tikhanovskaya will give a joint press conference, together with the Estonian president, Monday morning.

Tikhanovskaya had to flee Belarus in the aftermath of the August 2020 presidential elections, which returned Alexander Lukashenko for a sixth consecutive term.

The election was followed by a violent crackdown on dissent by state security organs.

She was last in Estonia on an official visit in January this year.

Last Sunday saw the hijacking and forced landing in Minsk of a civilian airliner on the pretense of a bomb threat. Another opposition leader and blogger, Roman Protasevich, who was on board the Vilnius-bound flight from Greece, was arrested.

Tikhanovskaya's husband, Sergei Tikhanovsky, is himself an activist and blogger, and was arrested a year ago after announcing his intention to run in the August 2020 election.

Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience.

Tikhanovskaya has been living in Vilnius, Lithuania, since being exiled from Belarus.

While in Tallinn Monday, Tikhanovskaya is also due to meet foreign minister Eva-Maria Liimets (Center), Riigikogu speaker Jüri Ratas (Center), Riigikogu foreign affairs committee chief Marko Mihkelson (Reform) and Isamaa MP and former foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu, the president's office says.

In the evening, Tsikhanouskaya will attend a performance of the play "Error 403" at the Tallinn Creative City district, directed by Nikolai Halezin, the founder of the Belarusian Free Theater, and dedicated to the Belarusian revolution.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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