Josep Borrell: EU Doesn’t Recognise Legitimacy Of Alexander Lukashenko

European Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell stated that work on sanctions against Belarusian officials is nearing completion at the session of the European Parliament on Tuesday, 15 August.

“We consider the elections in Belarus to be rigged, therefore we consider Lukashenko an illegitimate president of Ukraine,” he said. After laughs in the hall, Borrel corrected himself: “Of course, Belarus, what I was just thinking? Sorry, sorry.”

Josep Borrell also noted numerous arbitrary detentions after the elections, harsh actions against protesters and informed the deputies about the detention of all members of the Presidium of the Coordination Council, with the exception of Svetlana Aleksievich.

According to the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, the EU sees a way out of the crisis in organizing a political dialogue between the authorities and society. An OSCE observation mission could help initiate such a dialogue.

“However, we were unable to contact the Belarusian authorities at any level,” he added.

Borrell also noted that work on sanctions against Belarusian officials is nearing completion. They will be introduced shortly, Borrell said. He expects to have them agreed before an emergency meeting of the European Council, which will take place on 24-25 September.

The diplomat said that the EU is reviewing its relations with Belarus, areas in which contacts can be terminated or reduced were identified. Earlier, he said that the EU’s neighbourhood is “engulfed in flames, from Libya to Belarus” and called for a “strong and united response” from member states.

Brussels has rejected the results of the 9 August presidential election which gave Alexander Lukashenko over 80% of the vote. It condemned the violent crackdown on peaceful protesters and warned that targeted sanctions against officials involved in election farud and violence would be imposed.