European Union does not recognize embattled leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka as the legitimate president of Belarus, the bloc’s top diplomat said on September 15.
High Representative of the European Union Josep Borrell told the European Parliament that the August 9 election which returned the strongman to power was fraudulent.
The Belarusian opposition, led by Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, accuses Lukashenka of rigging the election, which handed him a sixth term with 80 percent of the vote.
Since then, thousands of people have been detained and beaten by police while nearly all the opposition’s key leaders have been forced to leave the country or been arrested in a widening crackdown condemned by the United States and European Union.
“The situation is clear for us. We consider the elections of August 9 fraudulent,” Borrell told the European lawmakers.
“We don’t recognize Lukashenka as the legitimate president of Belarus.”