EU Threatens Sanctions on Belarusian Leaders for Violence on Protesters

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. Photo: European Commission
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. Photo: European Commission

By RMN News Service

As protests against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko intensify, he has ordered police to use force against the protesters who have rejected the August 9 election saying it was rigged to elect dictator Lukashenko. The peaceful demonstrations are taking place in capital Minsk to dethrone Lukashenko who has been in power for 26 years.

While Russian President Vladimir Putin has extended military support to the Belarusian leader to deal with the demonstrators, reports suggest that some of them have been killed and thousands have been detained since last Sunday’s vote. Lukashenko’s opponents say the election was rigged to re-elect him.

However, Lukashenko has denied any poll manipulation citing official results that show his victory with over 80% of the vote. The Kremlin said Putin has told Lukashenko that Russia was ready to assist Belarus in accordance with a collective military pact if necessary and said external pressure was being applied to the country, without saying where from.

Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) leaders have expressed concerns over the political crisis in Belarus, an ally of Russia. They have blamed Lukashenko for election fraud and decided to impose sanctions on certain Belarusian officials.

“We support Belarusians who want fundamental freedoms and democracy. We will sanction all those responsible for violence, repression, and falsification of election results. We will support peaceful democratic transition in Belarus,” said President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in her tweet today.

She added that the people of Belarus want change, and they want it now. “They demand the release of all unlawfully detained people and the prosecution of those responsible for police brutality. They want democracy and new presidential elections. The EU stands with the people of Belarus,” she said.

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Rakesh Raman