- "The pressure has to be ramped up," she insisted.
GENEVA: Exiled Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has no intention of stopping her fight against the government of Alexander Lukashenko, and is appealing to the United Nations to help intensify pressure on the regime, she told AFP Sunday.
Belarus was gripped by months of unprecedented anti-government demonstrations that erupted after a disputed presidential election last August which saw Lukashenko claim a sixth term in office.
His opponents say the polls were rigged and that political novice Tikhanovskaya, who ran in place of her jailed husband, was the true winner.
But Belarusian security forces unleashed a harsh crackdown, detaining demonstrators and pushing opposition leaders into exile.
"We're convinced that at some point this regime is going to fall, because the pressure it's under is coming from inside just as much as from outside," said Tikhanovskaya, who has been living in Lithuania.
"At some point, it won't be able to avoid starting negotiations to get out of this enormous crisis."
"The pressure has to be ramped up," she insisted.
On Friday, Belarus requested Tikhanovskaya's extradition "to face prosecution for crimes against the governing order, public safety and the state", an appeal immediately rejected by Lithuania.
Asked about whether she felt safe in Europe in light of the extradition attempt, Tikhanovskaya was stoic.
"There's a minimum risk but that's not going to stop me in my fight," she told AFP calmly.