European Union calls for 'resolute and concerted' action in Belarus to end crisis

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Aug 19, 2020, 04:17 PM(IST)

Protests in Belarus over strongman Lukashenko's election Photograph:( Agencies )

Story highlights

European Union leaders held an emergency video summit on Wednesday to discuss the crisis in Belarus

European Union leaders held an emergency video summit on Wednesday to discuss the crisis in Belarus.

This comes in after country’s exiled opposition leader urged EU leaders to reject the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko.

Germany, France, and EU Council President Charles Michel have urged Lukashenko’s ally Russia to push for dialogue in a bid to end the crisis.

Sanctions incoming

The EU had earlier announced that they’re working on a new round of sanctions against Belarus. This would target those who were involved in allegedly rigging the August 9 votes, as well as in forcibly repressing protests.

The meeting began with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte saying that the EU simply “cannot accept the result of these elections”.

Also read: Russian President Vladimir Putin warns the world not to interfere in Belarus

Rutte also called for “resolute and concerted” action.

"Our message to the regime is clear: violence is unacceptable, political prisoners must be released and human rights must be respected," he tweeted.

"Dialogue must lead to a solution that reflects the vote of the people”, Rutte added.

Svetlana wants rejection of results

Tikhanovskaya, the main challenger in Belarus's disputed presidential election had said on Monday that she was ready to take over the country's leadership after a wave of protests against President Alexander Lukashenko. She had urged EU leaders "not to recognise these fraudulent elections". 

Also read: Belarusian opposition politician Tsikhanouskaya urges European Union to respect people's choice

"I did not want to be a politician. But fate decreed that I'd find myself on the frontline of a confrontation against arbitrary rule and injustice," Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said in a new video from exile in Lithuania.

Russia’s Vladimir Putin recently said that he would intervene in the crisis while warning of “unacceptable” foreign meddling in the country.

Putin spoke to French President and German chancellor in separate phone calls and said that any such attempts would lead to an escalation of the political crisis in Belarus.        

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