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No Russian criminal probe against Belarus opposition leader -Moscow

MOSCOW, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Russia has not opened its own criminal investigation into wanted Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the interior ministry in Moscow said on Thursday.

Tsikhanouskaya was added to Russia’s wanted list through a mechanism outlined under the auspices of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) regional bloc, the ministry said in a statement on its website. Belarus, a traditional ally of Russia, is a member of the CIS.

Tsikhanouskaya fled to neighbouring Lithuania shortly after a disputed Aug. 9 election and has since met with European political leaders and called for President Alexander Lukashenko to leave power.

The Belarusian interior ministry’s spokeswoman did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Tsikhanouskaya’s status in Belarus when asked on Wednesday. (Reporting by Polina Ivanova; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by)

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