Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the Belarusian opposition figurehead who is currently in exile, has told Euronews she is not frightened about being placed on Russia’s wanted list.
Russia put out an arrest warrant for the 38-year-old who challenged Alexander Lukashenko in the disputed presidential election in Belarus in August.
She has been accused by Russia of encouraging harm to public security in Belarus, and risks being arrested and deported back to her home country if she enters Russia.
Asked if she was frightened about being placed on Russia’s wanted list, she simply replied: “No.”
For Tsikhanouskaya, the focus should remain on Belarus.
“We have to pay attention to Belarus, not Russia. It’s our responsibility to solve this political crisis in Belarus. It’s a pity some countries, some leaders don’t support the rights of Belarusians to solve the future of the country themselves,” she told Euronews.
“We are striving for victory and only after victory I can go home,” she added.
Tikhanovskaya fled Belarus for Lithuania after threats from Lukashenko’s regime in the days following the election, which she claims to have won.
Lukashenko’s re-election triggered an unprecedented wave of protests, with daily demonstrations taking place on the streets for the past two months, despite violent crackdowns from Belarusian police and security services.
Almost all opposition figures have either been arrested or fled into exile following outcry at what many western observers said was a fixed election.