EU refuses to consider Lukashenka legitimate president; Ukrainian MPs share view

The European Union considers the elections on August, 9 fraudulent; Alyaksandr Lukashenka is not recognised as the legitimate President of Belarus, Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said at the EP plenary on Tuesday.

“The brutal crackdown continues. More than 7,500 peaceful protesters have been detained. 500 cases of torture have been recorded and documented. All Presidium members of the Coordination Council have been arrested or forced into exile, with the exception of Nobel Prize Laureate Ms [Svetlana] Alexievich,” he stressed.

According to the top official, the EU reaction is based on four pillars: adopting sanctions; calling on Belarusian authorities to end violence and unlawful detentions and establishing inclusive national dialogue; strengthening engagement with civil society; reviewing EU-Belarus relations .

“We continue to stress that we are ready to support any credible initiative in this direction. For example, the offer of the OSCE Chair in Office to visit Minsk could help to resolve the crisis. We stress the fact that, from our point of view, the re-run of elections under OSCE’s supervision would be the best solution, but so far it has been impossible for us to reach out to the Belarusian authorities on this issue at any level,” Borrell said.

On September 15, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shared the EU’s assessment of the non-democratic nature of the latest presidential elections which took place ‘in the utter lack of the competition between candidates;, as well as in the absence of observers from OSCE, Council of Europe, and other international organisations.

“All this gives grounds to believe that the officially announced results of the presidential elections in Belarus do not reflect the real expression of the will of Belarusian citizens,” news agency UNIAN quotes the statement.

Ukraine says Russia’s accusations about Belarus false

The corresponding resolution was backed by 228 deputies.

In addition, Ukrainian MPs called for the release of all political prisoners, as well as for a dialogue between civil society and the incumbent authorities. Holding a new free and fair election might be one of the options to resolve the crisis, the lawmakers added.

On August 18, Lithuania’s Seimas, adopted a resolution urging Lithuania’s leaders, the European Council, the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the national parliaments and governments of EU and NATO member countries not to recognise Alyaksandr Lukashenka as Belarus’ legitimate president. A bit later, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania declared him persona non grata. The president of Belarus and his inner circle are banned from entering these countries. There are 30 names in total, including the eldest son of the head of the republic, Viktar Lukashenka.

No EU sanctions against Lukashenka, Die Welt writes