Lithuania President: EU leaders say Belarus should hold new elections

Lithuania President: EU leaders say Belarus should hold new elections

PanARMENIAN.Net - Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has said that European Union leaders have agreed that Belarus should hold new elections, RT reports.

His remarks came as the European Council held a video conference to discuss the situation in Belarus, which has seen nearly two weeks of protests following the August 9 vote.

The EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said after the conference that President Alexander Lukashenko is not the legitimate leader of Belarus. The bloc is expected to slap sanctions on Minsk after meeting to discuss the country’s political crisis.

The European Union intends to express “condemnation and rejection” of Lukashenko’s government, Borrell told reporters on Wednesday, August 19. He said the Belarusian leader “lacks democratic legitimacy,” following a contested presidential election in which he won 80 percent of the vote. The country’s opposition claims that the result was fraudulent, and have called for new elections.

EU Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton said before heading into the meeting that existing sanctions on Minsk would be “reinforced.”

European Council President Charles Michel tweeted ahead of the emergency summit that “the leadership of Belarus must reflect the will of the people.”

Earlier on Wednesday, opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya called on the European Union to reject the result of Belarus’ presidential election, arguing that the country must head back to the polls under the supervision of international observers.

Photo: AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
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