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EU says Lukashenko is not the legitimate president of Belarus


Alexander Lukashenko is not the legitimate president of Belarus, the EU said, saying his swearing in was against the will of the people.

Lukashenko was sworn in during his inauguration ceremony in Minsk on Wednesday.

(CNN) -

President Alexander Lukashenko is not the legitimate president of Belarus, the European Union said on Thursday, saying his abrupt swearing in on Wednesday was directly against the will of the people.

The ceremony accelerated the EU's plans to boycott Lukashenko after the controversial August 9 elections, as the European Parliament had previously decided not to recognize the veteran leader since November, when his term as president was due to end.

"The so-called 'inauguration' ... and the new mandate claimed by Alexander Lukashenko lack democratic legitimacy," the 27 EU states said in a statement.

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"This 'inauguration' directly contradicts the will of a large part of the Belarusian population, expressed in numerous, unprecedented and peaceful protests since the elections, and only serves to further deepen the political crisis in Belarus."

The EU, a large financial donor to Belarus, also said it will "review its relations" with the country, meaning the bloc will seek to cut direct funding to Lukashenko's government, channeling it to aid groups and hospitals.

Before the elections, the EU had pledged to spend € 135 million on projects in Belarus and has also pledged € 53 million for the fight against the covid-19 pandemic.

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Opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya discussed with EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday how to bypass the state administration to support doctors and hospitals.

'I asked Europe not to support the regime financially.

All the money that Mr. Lukashenko can get now will not go to support the Belarusian people, but to these repressions, "he told reporters, referring to the offensive in favor of democracy.

Alexander Lukashenko Belarus

Source: cnnespanol

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