Treaty

Ex-Belarusian presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya placed on ‘wanted’ list in Russia, under Union State treaty with Minsk

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the main opposition candidate in Belarus’ disputed August presidential election, has been placed on the interstate wanted list by Russia’s Interior Ministry. The move follows a request by police in Minsk.

The database on the ministry’s website says that Tikhanovskaya is wanted as part of a criminal case. However it doesn’t specify which article of the criminal code she’s suspected of violating, or the precise crime she’s accused of in her homeland. 

A police source told Moscow news agency TASS that Tikhanovskaya is facing criminal charges in Belarus, but Russian law enforcement is also obliged to look for her, as this is how the interstate wanted list works. They allow for the arrest and extradition of suspects among the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) members, which includes Russia, Belarus, and seven other former Soviet republics.

The Belarusian Investigative Committee has launched a criminal case against Tikhanovskaya over her calls for a seizure of power, which carries a penalty of up to five years in prison. It began after the 38-year-old initiated the creation of an opposition coordination council, tasked with transferring authority in the country to her from President Alexander Lukashenko.

According to official results, Tikhanovskaya secured ten percent of the vote in the Belarusian presidential election on August 9, which was overwhelmingly won by the country’s longtime leader, Alexander Lukashenko, according to the disputed official count.

The opposition refused to accept the results of the vote, insisting that it was rigged by the government.

Belarus has been gripped by protests since then, with thousands taking to the streets every weekend demanding Lukashenko’s resignation and calling for a new election.  




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UK’s Brexit Treaty Override Powers Approved by Parliament’s Lower House | World News

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s House of Commons approved legislation on Tuesday that gives ministers the power to break its divorce deal with the European Union, despite the threat of legal action from Brussels and unrest within the governing Conservative Party.

The UK Internal Market Bill, which ministers acknowledge breaks international law, was approved by 340 votes to 256 and now passes to the House of Lords for debate.

The bill seeks to protect free trade between Britain’s four nations once a Brexit transition period ends, but has soured relations with Brussels just as time is running out to reach a deal on their long-term relationship.

After an initial uproar within Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s party, including criticism from three former Conservative prime ministers, a rebellion was snuffed out by a concession to give parliament a say over using the powers.

The government says clauses in the bill which override the Withdrawal Agreement, signed by Johnson in January, are necessary to protect free trade with Northern Ireland, and will only be used if talks on a border solution with the EU fail.

The EU, which wants to make sure Northern Ireland’s open border with member state Ireland does not act as a back door for goods to come into the bloc, says it is an extremely serious violation of the exit treaty and has threatened to sue.

Scrutiny in the House of Lords, parliament’s upper chamber, is expected to take until early December. Johnson does not have a majority there and revisions to the most contentious clauses are likely to have strong support.

But talks with the EU are expected to move more quickly, and if a deal can be reached on an Irish border solution the powers may not be needed.

If there is no deal, any changes made by