Foreign Minister Champagne meets Belarus’s exiled opposition leader in Lithuania


As he continues a European tour, Canada’s top diplomat has met in Lithuania with the exiled opposition leader of Belarus.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne met today with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who fled her home country after an August election that Champagne has called “fraudulent.”

The U.S. and the European Union have denounced the election as neither free nor fair, and introduced sanctions against the officials they say are responsible for vote-rigging and a subsequent crackdown on protests.

Top European leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have also met with Tsikhanouskaya.

This was the first visit to Lithuania by a Canadian foreign minister in 24 years.

Following the meeting in the capital, Vilnius, Champagne told the exiled opposition leader that “Canada will always be on your side.”

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