Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed Lithuania is “affecting” the statements of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the opposition candidate in the August 9 Belarusian presidential election, who has fled to Vilnius.
“The rather visible [changes] that are taking place with her, the fact that she is located in Vilnius […] which also does not hide its ambitions regarding Belarus and its future, is probably also affecting [her],” Lavrov said on Friday according to RIA FAN news agency in Russia.
Lavrov previously slammed Lithuania’s alleged “undemocratic methods” to support the Belarusian opposition. In response, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius replied that the country has no intentions to meddle in Belarus’ affairs, but it would assist people prosecuted by the Minsk government. During BBC HARDtalk on Thursday, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda was asked if the country expects a backlash from Moscow. Nausėda replied that “democratic values do not have a price” and said “you should not blame Lithuania [or] the Belarusian people that the situation is like this”.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya left Belarus on August 11 after coming under a “direct threat”, according to the Lithuanian foreign minister. She has been based in Vilnius since.