French President Emmanuel Macron met Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in Vilnius on Tuesday on the second day of a visit to Baltic countries meant to reassure them about French commitment to their security;

Tsikhanouskaya said Macron promised her to help negotiate with the Belarus authorities and secure the release of the political prisoners.

“He promised us to do everything to help with negotiations, (during) this political crisis in our country … and he will do everything to help to release all the political prisoners”, Tsikhanouskaya told reporters in English after the meeting in Vilnius.

On Monday, on his first day in Vilnius, where Tsikhanouskaya fled into exile, Macron urged Belarus authorities to stop unlawful arrests, release protesters detained arbitrarily and respect election results.

He had urged Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko to go on Sunday, hardening his stance as tens of thousands marched in Belarus for a seventh straight weekend to demand Lukashenko quit.

Tsikhanouskaya fled Belarus after the Aug. 9 election that the opposition said was rigged.

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