EU announces sanctions against Belarus.
European Union leaders have agreed to impose sanctions against Belarusians believed to have been involved in electoral fraud and violence in the country.
Postelection turmoil continues in the former Soviet republic after the results of the August 9 polls left President Alexander Lukashenko cementing his sixth term in office.
People have taken to the streets or have joined strikes, demanding that Lukashenko step down.
The European Union hastily convened an online summit on Wednesday on the grounds that authorities have brutally cracked down on protesters, and that the vote was rigged.
Participants agreed that the EU will neither recognize the results of the elections nor tolerate violence against protesters.
They called on the need for a transparent investigation into the handling of the election and agreed to shortly impose sanctions on individuals in line with an agreement earlier reached among foreign ministers.
The leaders also expressed their support for a democratic transition of power.
In an apparent reference to Russia, which has offered military assistance to Belarus, the leaders called on all forces, including third-party nations, to support the EU move.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pledged financial assistance of 53 million euros, or about 63 million dollars, in coronavirus emergency assistance and to support the Belarusian people and freedom of the press