The undoubted victor in the August 9 presidential vote in Belarus has met the French president in Vilnius, Lithuania, where she was forced into exile two days after the poll.

Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya has called on the European Union to be “bolder” in opposing Europe’s “last dictator,” Alexander Lukashenko.

“We had a very good discussion but now we need to be pragmatic and to support the Belarusian people and we will do our best, believe me,” Emmanuel Macron said following the 45-minute meeting.

Although there has been talk of EU sanctions against leaders of the illegitimate regime in Minsk, nothing concrete has been decided and no action has been taken.

Macron is walking a tightrope between showing support for the Baltic States and the people of Belarus, and maintaining dialogue with Putin – which he says is necessary.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday Putin expressed his continued support of Lukashenko and complained of “unprecedented external pressure” on Belarus.

PHOTO: Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya arrives for talks at Emmanuel Macron’s hotel in Vilnius Reuters