The EU does not recognize Alexander Lukashenko as President of Belarus and is preparing to impose significant sanctions on government officials, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said today.
“We believe that the election that took place in August 9 was rigged and we do not recognize Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus,” Borrell told during the plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels.
“We are going to adopt sanctions for a significant number of those responsible for the violence, repression and falsification of the election results,” he added.
“These sanctions must be adopted before the European Council on 24 and 25 September in Brussels, if we are to maintain the European credibility,” he said. The decision will be taken during the EU foreign ministers’ meeting next Monday in Brussels.
“We want a solution that will allow us to impose sanctions on Turkey and Belarus at the same pace,” he said.
Borrell condemned the continuing crackdown in Belarus, where “more than 7.500 peaceful protesters have been arrested and 500 cases of torture have been recorded and documented.”
“New elections under the auspices of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) would be the best solution, but to date it has been impossible for us to contact the Belarusian authorities at any level,” he said.
“Lukashenko’s determination to stay in power with Moscow’s apparently growing support makes all this difficult,” Borrell said today, the day after Lukashenko met with the Russian President Vladimir Putin.