The European Union called on the Belarussian authorities on Friday to suspend criminal proceedings against a new council bringing together opposition leaders.
At a summit in Brussels on Friday, 21 August, the European Union called on Minsk to suspend criminal proceedings against opposition figures. Earlier this week, they announced the establishment of the “Coordination Council” to negotiate a democratic transition.
However, the creation of this council is seen as an attempt to seize power by Belarusian President Alexander Loukashenko.
“We expect the Belarussian authorities to abandon these criminal proceedings and instead enter into a dialogue to reach a peaceful solution to the current crisis,” said Nabila Massrali, EU spokesman. for foreign and security policy.
The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, said on the same day that the EU’s goal is to end the violence in Belarus, to promote dialogue between the state, the opposition and society, and to contribute to the country’s economic prosperity.
The crisis in Belarus: “for hope of Russian mediation, it will be necessary to wait”
Call to strike
For his part, Belarusian opponent Svetlana Tikhanouskaya called on her supporters on Friday to intensify strikes in factories to force leader Alexander Loukashenko to organize a new presidential election.
“I ask you to continue and prolong the strikes,” the main opposition candidate said in a video address. “Do not be fooled by the bullying.”
The crisis in Belarus: Svetlana Tikhanovskaya demands that the strike be intensified
Belarus is facing its worst political crisis since the collapse of the Soviet Union, with tens of thousands of protesters taking to the streets expressing dissatisfaction with the re-election of Alexander Loukashenko in the August 9 presidential election, which they believe is rigged.
The president rejected holding a new ballot despite widespread protests.