Belarus: EU says Lukashenko is not legitimate president

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The ceremony accelerated the EU’s plans to boycott Lukashenko after the disputed August 9 elections, with the European Parliament previously deciding not to recognize the veteran leader from November, when his term as president was due to end.

“The so-called” inauguration “… and the new mandate claimed by Alexander Lukashenko have no democratic legitimacy,” the 27 EU states said in a statement.

“This ‘inauguration’ directly contradicts the will of a large part of the Belarusian population, expressed in numerous peaceful demonstrations unprecedented since the elections, and only serves to further aggravate the political crisis in Belarus. ”

The EU, a major financial donor to Belarus, has also said it is “re-examining its relations” with the country, meaning the bloc would seek to cut direct funding to the Lukashenko government, channeling it instead. to help groups and hospitals.

Before the elections, the EU pledged to spend 135 million euros on projects in Belarus and also pledged 53 million euros for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.Opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya discussed with EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday how to circumvent the public administration to support doctors and hospitals.

“I asked Europe not to financially support the regime. All the money Mr Lukashenko can get now will not be used to support the Belarusian people but will go to these repressions, ”she told reporters, referring to the pro-democracy crackdown.

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