Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – European Union foreign ministers agreed on Monday to sanction Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and other senior officials over an Aug. 9 election the West says was rigged, citing worsening police violence against protesters.
Lukashenko, who has been in power for 26 years, was not on the EU’s sanctions list of 40 names agreed on Oct. 2, but the bloc now says his refusal to consider new elections as a way out of the crisis leaves it with no choice.
“This is an answer to the evolving situation in Belarus,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who chaired the EU ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg, told reporters.
“There has not been any kind of signal from the Belarus authorities to engage in any kind of conversation,” he said, citing a “complete lack of will” from Lukashenko to consider talks on holding a free and fair presidential election.
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