The EU does not recognise the results of the presidential elections in Belarus. Sanctions will be imposed against those responsible for violence and election fraud. European Council President Charles Michel said this in a video press conference following the emergency EU summit on 19 August.
The members of the European Council discussed the situation in Belarus following the presidential elections on 9 August. They described elections as neither free nor fair, “therefore we do not recognise the results.”
“The European Union stands in solidarity with the people of Belarus. And we do not accept impunity. The protests in Belarus are not about geopolitics. This is about the right of the people to freely elect their leadership,” said Charles Michel.
Belarusians have taken to the streets with mass protests and strikes.
From ordinary families to students and factory workers.
— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) August 19, 2020
European leaders expressed their clear solidarity with the people of Belarus in their desire to exercise their fundamental democratic rights. They also condemned the violence against peaceful protesters and expect a transparent investigation into all alleged abuses.
The EU will shortly impose sanctions on a substantial number of individuals responsible for violence, repression, and election fraud. Progress made in the past years in the relationship between the EU and Belarus is at risk.
“We call on the Belarusian authorities to find a way out of the crisis through an end to violence, de-escalation, and an inclusive national dialogue. Only a peaceful and democratic process, underpinned by independent and free media and a strong civil society, can provide sustainable solutions,” added Charles Michel.
President of the European Commision Ursula von der Leyen also commented on the situation in Belarus: “We stand ready to engage in all possible ways to accompany peaceful democratic transition of power in Belarus.”
At #EUCO the EU gave 3 strong messages:
▪️We support Belarusians
who want fundamental freedoms
▪️We will sanction all those responsible for violence, repression & falsification of election results.
▪️We will support peaceful democratic transition in Belarus.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) August 19, 2020
Besides, she expressed the European Union’s full support of opening dialogue between Belarusian authorities and the opposition. She also mentioned the important role of the OSCE in addressing this issue, since Belarus is a member of the OSCE.
“The European Union stands at the side of the Belarusian people. Violence has to stop. Only an inclusive dialogue will find solutions. The future of Belarus must be decided by the Belarusian people in Belarus. It must grow from within,” she concluded.
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The featured image is from an official Twitter account of European Council President Charles Michel