These elections were neither free nor fair and did not meet international standards,” Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, said at the end of an emergency summit on Belarus held by teleconference on Wednesday.
“The EU will impose shortly sanctions on a substantial number of individuals responsible for violence, repression, and election fraud,” he added.
President Alexander Lukashenko won Belarus’ presidential election on August 9 by a landslide, securing a sixth term in office. But his political opponents organized protests and claimed electoral fraud. The allegations were echoed by Western states.
With backing from the West, the Belarusian opposition has formed a transitional council. The president has described the formation of the body as a coup attempt.