BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko should not be recognized as president after November, when his term expires, the European Parliament said Thursday, calling on the European Union to impose economic sanctions on him.
In support of the protests in Belarus, the European Parliament voted in favor of a resolution rejecting the official results of the 9 August presidential elections. There were 574 votes in favor, 37 against, with 82 abstentions.
“The EU needs a new approach to Belarus, including the termination of any cooperation with the Lukashenka regime,” said the Lithuanian MEP Petras Aushtrevičius.
Although the vote of the European Parliament is not legally binding, its decision has political weight and may affect the EU's ability to invest in or provide financial support to Belarus.
“As soon as the term of office of the current authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko expires on November 5, the parliament will no longer recognize him as the country's president,” the parliament said in a statement.
(Robin Emmott; Translated by Caleb Davis. Editor Anna Kozlova)