Selin ATAY-TDO- Following the Alexander Lukashenko’s visit to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the EU's high representative for foreign affairs said on Tuesday that the European Union does not recognize Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus.
The August 9 election that returned the veteran strongman to power was fraudulent, the bloc's diplomatic chief Josep Borrell told the European Parliament.
Emphasizing that EU considers result of disputed August 9 vote as fraudulent, "The situation is clear for us. We don't recognize Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus." Josep Borrell said the parliament.
The European Union has already stated that the block does not recognize Lukashenko's reelection as legitimate and is in the process of drafting sanctions against those responsible for rigging the vote and cracking down on protests.
However, diplomats said that Cyprus blocked the EU backed sanctions on Belarus since it is demanding measures against Ankara first in a conflict over natural gas drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean
The bloc’s diplomatic chief said the EU's credibility was at stake and urged member states to pass the sanctions, that require a unanimous vote, before their summit in Brussels at the end of next week.
Lukashenko has faced massive protests against his rule since the disputed ballot. Also, he was heavily condemned by the international community for the violent and brutal treatment of the security forces against the demonstrators during the protest.
More than 7,500 peaceful protesters have been detained and 500 cases of torture have been documented, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs said.
The UN Human Rights Council on Monday decided to host an urgent debate on reports of violence at the hands of authorities during the anti-Lukashenko protests.