EU's top diplomat warns Belarus to avoid being 'second Ukraine'

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Aug 23, 2020, 07:26 PM(IST)

Lukashenko and Putin Photograph:( Reuters )

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"The Belarusians' problem today isn't to choose between Russia and Europe, it's to obtain liberty and democracy," he added.

EU's top diplomat Josep Borell on Sunday warned that Belarus should not be allowed to become a "second Ukraine" and said it was necessary to deal with its long-time President Alexander Lukashenko.

Also read: Lukashenko warns of NATO troops near borders as Belarus opposition calls for Minsk rally

Results of Belarus' presidential elections that were held on August 9 is rejected by Brussels. The elections have sparked massive protests in the country against President Alexander Lukashenko.

But in Ukraine "tensions between Europe and Russia were settled with shooting, with violence and the disintegration of Ukraine's territory that has lasted to this day," Borell told the newspaper in Sunday edition of El Pais.

"The Belarusians' problem today isn't to choose between Russia and Europe, it's to obtain liberty and democracy," he added.

"Europe has no intention of turning Belarus into a second Ukraine."

Ties between the European capitals and Moscow strained ever since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, prompting the EU to impose sanctions that remain in place today.

Borell compared Lukashenko's situation to that of Venezuelan leader Maduro and urged the EU to maintain the dialogue with the Belarusian leader. 

"Maduro and Lukashenko are in exactly the same situation. We don't recognise their elections as legitimate," Borell said. 

"Nevertheless, whether we like it or not they control the government and we have to continue dealing with them, although we don't recognise their democratic legitimacy."

(Inputs from AFP)

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