WASHINGTON — Exiled Belarusian opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya has called on U.S. lawmakers to materially support the Belarusian democracy movement abroad and tighten sanctions on authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka amid a push for a clear U.S. strategy for her country.
In testimony on Capitol Hill on December 5, Tsikhanouskaya also asked U.S. lawmakers to urge the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Lukashenka for the deportation of Ukrainian children to Belarus and back more military aid to Kyiv, saying her nation’s freedom hinges on Ukraine defeating Russia.
Tsikhanouskaya’s visit to Washington comes as Congress is embroiled in debate over a bill that would send billions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, raising questions how much bandwidth lawmakers and the White House have for Belarus right now. She sought to hammer home that supporting the Belarus opposition is in the U.S. national interest.
“Supporting free Belarus is …