Belarus opposition leader hails world support after journalist arrest

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  • Global News published this video item, entitled “Belarus opposition leader hails world support after journalist arrest” – below is their description.

    Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya on Saturday hailed support from around the world after Minsk scrambled a warplane to intercept a flight and arrested a dissident journalist on board.

    Belarus has been subject to EU and U.S. sanctions since President Alexander Lukashenko cracked down on pro-democracy protests after a disputed election last year.

    But his decision to intercept an international airliner in Belarusian airspace and arrest the 26-year-old has brought threats of more serious action. Most European countries told their aircraft to avoid Belarus airspace and banned Belarus carriers from their skies.

    “I am very touched by the support I see in Lithuania and all around the world,” Tsikhanouskaya told reporters, standing among a few hundred exiles in a square in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius.

    The protesters were holding pictures of the detained blogger Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega, a Russian citizen who was also arrested.

    Lithuania has sheltered hundreds of Belarusians who it says risked detention in their country after the presidential election, including Tsikhanouskaya.

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    In This Story: Belarus

    Belarus, officially the Republic of Belarus and formerly known as Byelorussia or Belorussia, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital and most populous city is Minsk.

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  • In This Story: Lithuania

    Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania, is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. Lithuania is one of the Baltic states. Lithuania has an estimated population of 2.8 million people as of 2019. The capital and largest city is Vilnius and other major cities are Kaunas and Klaipėda. Lithuanians are Balts. The official language, Lithuanian, is one of only two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family, the other being Latvian.

    On 11 March 1990, a year before the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union, Lithuania became the first Baltic state to proclaim its independence, resulting in the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania.

    Lithuania is a developed country with an advanced, high-income economy. Lithuania is a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, eurozone, Schengen Agreement, NATO and OECD. It is also a member of the Nordic Investment Bank, part of Nordic-Baltic cooperation of Northern European countries, and is classified as a Northern European country by the United Nations.

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