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  • Belarusians attend a rally against the results of the Belarusian presidential election in Minsk, Belarus, 14 August 2020.

    Belarusians attend a rally against the results of the Belarusian presidential election in Minsk, Belarus, 14 August 2020. | Photo: EFE/EPA/YAUHEN YERCHAK

Published 14 August 2020
Opinion

‘’EU doesn't accept election results. Work begins on sanctioning those responsible for violence & falsification,’’ EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has confirmed.

The European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, announced on Friday that the block is refusing to recognize the presidential election results in Belarus, in which President Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected for a sixth consecutive term.

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Belarus: Thousands of People Arrested in Post-Election Protests

After a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, Borrell twitted: "EU doesn't accept election results. Work begins on sanctioning those responsible for violence & falsification."

The 27 EU foreign ministers ended in a consensus that the Belarus elections "were rigged," according to Slovakian Foreign Minister Ivan Korcok. On his behalf, Polish FM Jacek Czaputowicz said, "we cannot ignore the facts of election fraud and the use of force," adding that the EU foreign policy unit has been tasked with putting together a list of officials to be sanctioned.

Ahead of the ministerial teleconference, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called for "additional sanctions against those who violated democratic values or abused human rights" in Belarus. She expressed confidence the foreign ministers will "demonstrate EU's strong support for the rights of the people in Belarus to fundamental freedoms and democracy."

Counting five days of unrest to date, protests began in the eastern European country shortly after the presidential election last Sunday, when Lukashenko's opponents claimed that the result was grossly falsified.

During the first days, there were violent clashes between the demonstrators and the police. According to the Belarusian Ministry of the Interior, some 6,000 demonstrators were arrested during the protests, of whom more than 2,000 have already been released.

The Central Electoral Commission of Belarus released the final figures of the ballot on August 9, showing that Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected with 80.1 percent of the vote, while his main rival and opposition leader, Svetlana Tijanovskaya, who fled to neighboring Lithuania, received 10.12 percent.

During a meeting with the Belarus National Security Council, Lukashenko has accused outsiders of seeking to organize a "color revolution" in the country, adding that activists from Poland, Ukraine, Netherlands, and even the Russian opposition have arrived to organize the unrest.

He also called upon the citizens to not go out into the streets, so they and their children wouldn't be used as "cannon fodder."

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