EU’s prime diplomat denounces Belarus’ vote, threatens sanctions

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The Union’s Foreign Policy chief, Josep Borrell has denounced Belarus’ presidential elections that gave long-time ruler Aleksander Lukashenko a sixth time period in energy, saying that elections have been “neither free nor fair.” 

In a press release launched on Tuesday, Borrell additionally stated that the EU may take “measures against those responsible for the observed violence, unjustified arrests, and falsification of election results,” because the folks of Belarus “deserve better.” 

“During the electoral campaign, the people of Belarus have demonstrated the desire for democratic change,” his assertion reads. 

Borrell’s feedback got here amid rising criticism by NGOs, activists and politicians throughout Europe, who name the elections a fraud and urge Belarus to make sure its residents’ elementary human rights. 

Thousands took to the streets throughout Belarus on Sunday night, after a state-TV exit ballot predicted a landslide victory for incumbent president Lukashenko, who has been operating the nation since 1994.

The figures launched by the nation’s Central Electoral Committee (CEC) have led to violent clashes in Minsk, with movies circulating on the internet displaying police forces cracking down on demonstrators. Police reportedly used stun grenades, rubber bullets, tear gasoline and water cannon, whereas at the least one demonstrator is reported to have been killed.

“State authorities deployed disproportionate and unacceptable violence causing at least one death and many injuries. Thousands of people were detained and the crackdown on freedoms of assembly, media and expression intensified,” the bloc’s overseas coverage chief stated.

He additionally known as on Belarusian authorities to launch “immediately and unconditionally” all detained, and to to provoke a “genuine and inclusive dialogue” with broader society to keep away from additional violence.

On Wednesday morning, Borrell introduced in a Twitter submit that he’ll convene a unprecedented Foreign Affairs Council, to debate the state of affairs in Belarus and the Eastern Mediterranean, in addition to the latest developments in Lebanon.

The announcement adopted a request by Poland’s Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, who on Monday known as on the chiefs of EU establishments to convene a unprecedented summit on Belarus, after violent clashes between protesters and police forces over the disputed presidential election shook the capital.