Poland's Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau says the Belarusian government represented by Alexander Lukashenko has lost its legitimacy.
"We cannot perceive President Alexander Lukashenko as such who enjoys legitimacy in a democratic society. This is a completely different subject [of politics]. Therefore, our policy is addressed to the Belarusian society," he said, as reported by Radio Poland's Ukrainian service.
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- On August 9, presidential elections were held in Belarus. The country's Central Election Commission announced the final election results. In particular, 80.1% of voters supported incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko, 10.1% voted for Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, 1.67% for Anna Kanopatskaya, 1.2% for Andrey Dmitriev, and 1.14% for Sergei Cherechnya. Some 4.59% voted against all candidates.
- Thousands took to the streets to protest what many believe was a rigged vote count. Riot police violently cracked down on protesters.
- Belarus' Ministry of Internal Affairs said about 7,000 protesters had been detained in different cities since August 9. On the evening of August 13, the authorities started to release detainees.
- On August 16, the March of Freedom, the largest protest in the history of Belarus, took place in Minsk. Hundreds of thousands of people joined in.
- Lukashenko has repeatedly claimed "foreign interference" in the election and external efforts to foment the protests. He spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin who had promised him comprehensive assistance upon request.
- On August 27, Putin suggested sending Russian security forces to suppress protests in Belarus.
- The European Union has not recognized election outcome in Belarus. EU leaders reached an agreement to impose sanctions on Belarusian officials in response to vote rigging and the use of violence against protesters.