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Iran Press TV

EU rejects Belarus election results, readying sanctions against Minsk

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 20 August 2020 7:53 AM

The European Union (EU) has rejected the results of Belarus' presidential election, claiming it was not "free and fair" and saying it would soon impose sanctions on Belarusian officials.

"These elections were neither free nor fair and did not meet international standards," Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, said at the end of an emergency summit on Belarus held by teleconference on Wednesday.

"The EU will impose shortly sanctions on a substantial number of individuals responsible for violence, repression, and election fraud," he added.

President Alexander Lukashenko won Belarus' presidential election on August 9 by a landslide, securing a sixth term in office. But his political opponents organized protests and claimed electoral fraud. The allegations were echoed by Western states.

With backing from the West, the Belarusian opposition has formed a transitional council. The president has described the formation of the body as a coup attempt.

Lukashenko has also expressed concern about potential military action by NATO against Belarus. On Tuesday, he put Belarusian troops along the country's western border on full combat alert.

In the face of Western meddling in the affairs of his country and the alleged threat of military action, the Belarusian president recently turned to Russian President Vladimir Putin for help with maintaining security in his country. Throughout the course of the election campaign, Lukashenko had been claiming that Russia was meddling in the election to have him lose. Moscow repeatedly rejected that claim.

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