Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

Belarusian opposition politicians meet with Lithuanian prime minister

Belarusian opposition politicians Anatol Lyabedzka, Pavel Sevyarynets and Alyaksandr Kazulin met Monday in Vilnius with Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius and Foreign Minister Vygaudas Usackas.

Mr. Sevyarynets, a leader of Belarusian Christian Democracy, told Messrs. Kubilius and Usackas about the existence of political prisoners in Belarus, the justice ministry's reluctance to register political parties and other problems, said the unregistered opposition party's press office.

The delegation pointed out that Alyaksandr Lukashenka's visit to Lithuania scheduled for September 16 would coincide with the 10th anniversary of the unsolved disappearance of Viktar Hanchar and his friend, businessman Anatol Krasowski, who are widely believed to have been kidnapped and murdered by a government-run death squad, the press office said.

During the meeting and a joint news conference with the prime minister, Lithuanian government officials expressed concern about the state of democracy in Belarus, Mr. Sevyarynets said. "Lithuania wants its neighbor to be independent and democratic," he said, expressing confidence that the issues discussed on Monday would be raised during the Belarusian leader's visit.

On Monday, Messrs. Lyabedzka, Sevyarynets and Kazulin took part in an international round-table conference held at the Seimas (parliament) ahead of the International Day of Democracy, which is observed on September 15.

While in Vilnius, Mr. Lukashenka is expected to meet with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, attend the opening ceremony for a Belarusian-Lithuanian economic forum, and inaugurate an exhibition of Belarusian-made goods.