Aug 12, 2020 - World

EU threatens Belarus with sanctions amid third night of unrest

Riot police detain protesters during a rally of opposition supporters, who accuse strongman Alexander Lukashenko of falsifying the polls

Belarus riot police detain protesters in Minsk on Tuesday. Photo: Sergei Gapon/AFP via Getty Images

The European Union warned Tuesday it could reimpose sanctions on Belarus as riot police clashed for a third night with demonstrators protesting this week's elections that the EU described as "neither free nor fair," per the Guardian.

Why it matters: The EU removed most sanctions against Belarus four years ago, after "Europe's last dictator" Alexander Lukashenko released political prisoners and permitted protests, AP notes. The EU said in a statement Tuesday it would be "conducting an in-depth review" into its relations with former Soviet country over his elections win claim and the deadly crackdown on protesters.

  • "This may include, inter alia, taking measures against those responsible for the observed violence, unjustified arrests, and falsification of election results," the EU statement said of Sunday's vote, which Lukashenko claimed to have won in a landslide.

Of note: Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya fled to Lithuania after filing a complaint at the Central Election Commission over the elections on Monday.

Go deeper: U.S. officials condemn Belarus election and "senseless" crackdown

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