EU says does not recognize Lukashenko as president of Belarus
Iran Press TV
Tuesday, 15 September 2020 2:31 PM
The European Union (EU)'s diplomatic chief says the bloc does not recognize Alexander Lukashenko as the president of Belarus, ratcheting up tensions with the post-Soviet state.
"The situation is clear for us. We consider the elections of August 9 fraudulent," Josep Borrell, the EU's high representative for foreign affairs, told the European Parliament on Tuesday. "We don't recognize Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus."
Borrell claimed that more than 7,500 protesters had been detained and 500 cases of torture had been registered during protests in Belarus against Lukashenko.
The EU official urged member states to pass sanctions on Belarus before a summit in Brussels at the end of next week.
Belarus has witnessed turmoil since Lukashenko won the presidential election in August. The opposition disputed the results of the election, Western countries quickly alleged voter fraud, and mass protests followed.
Belarus has rejected the allegations of vote rigging, but Lukashenko has proposed the drafting of a new constitution less reliant on the head of state.
At a meeting with Lukashenko in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the Belarusian president's proposal and rejected foreign meddling in Belarus' internal affairs.
Amid the allegations of voter fraud, renewed NATO activity has been detected near Belarus' borders. Lukashenko has formerly warned that Western governments seek to destabilize the country.
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