Belarusian opposition figure in exile Svetlana Tikhanouskaya on Sunday urged Austrian authorities and its companies located in Belarus to assist her allies against President Lukashenko.
Tikhanouskaya gave her comments in a joint interview with Austrian newspapers Kleine Zeitung and Die Presse just before a video conference hosted by Austria.
The conference is dedicated to supporting Belarusian civil society against an alleged crackdown run by the government.
“We understand that large companies like A1 do not want to give up their business activities in our country,” Tikhanouskaya said.
“However, they could make their presence subject to certain conditions and make clear that their employees cannot be thrown in prison simply because they have a different opinion to Lukashenko,” she added.
The leader of the opposition suggested that Austria could take in expelled Belarus students.
Austrian companies which present in Belarus are the most important ones among the European firms in the country. These firms are A1 Telekom Austria with its 42% of shares on the mobile market and Raiffeisen Bank which is fourth in the country with the extent of loans.
President Lukashenko has won the previous presidential elections but many disagreed with the results voicing concerns about fraudulence at polls. This could trigger a crackdown against the opposition in the country and led to the imprisonment of numerous activists.