İrem UZUN -TDO- The European Union said Wednesday it does not recognize the results of Belarus’s August 9 election that detractors of President Alexander Lukashenko say was rigged to extend his 26 years in office. The EU also said it would move forward with sanctions on Belarus. “The EU will impose shortly sanctions on a substantial number of individuals responsible for violence, repression and electoral fraud,” European Council President Charles Michel said after an EU emergency summit to discuss the crisis in Belarus.

After Wednesday's emergency video summit, Michel told the people of Belarus the bloc stood by your side as unprecedented protests against Lukashenko entered an 11th day. Michel said this would lead shortly to "a substantial number of individuals responsible for violence, repression and election fraud" being hit with EU travel bans and asset freezes. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said EU rejects the results of the vote, which was "neither free nor fair" and called for national dialogue in Belarus.

As Al Jazeera reported, Michel, Merkel and Macron held phone talks with Russia, Lukashenko's close ally, to push for dialogue to end the crisis peacefully. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that his country could intervene in the crisis and warned against "unacceptable" foreign interference in Belarus or pressure on its leadership. "No one is making a secret of the fact that this is about geopolitics, the fight for the post-Soviet space," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a televised interview.

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