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Union State Parliamentary Assembly denounces meddling in Belarus’s internal affairs

It underscores that Alexander Lukashenko is the president-elect and that the vote took place in compliance with the country’s Constitution

MOSCOW, August 21. /TASS/. Artificial escalation of the situation around the recent presidential elections in Belarus contradicts international law, and attempts of foreign meddling in the republic’s internal affairs are unacceptable, the Council of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union State of Belarus and Russia said in its statement, published on the Russian State Duma (parliament's lower house) website Friday.

"We believe that artificial escalation of tensions around the outcome of the election contradicts the letter and the spirit of the international law. We note that meddling in internal affairs of a state is unacceptable and we speak against any attempts to destabilize the social and political situation in the Republic of Belarus," the statement reads.

The Council underscores that the recent elections were "open, competitive and ensured free declaration of will of the people of Belarus." The statement underscores that Alexander Lukashenko is the president-elect and that the vote took place in compliance with the country’s Constitution.

"The election campaign was observed by a large number of international observers, including from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union State and the CIS Interparliametnary Assembly. No facts that challenge the legitimacy of the Belarusian presidential elections were discovered," the statement runs.

The Council calls on all countries "to respect the sovereign choice of the Belarusian people."

"All issues must be resolved constructively, within the current legal framework. We are certain that the Belarusian people will exercise wisdom at this important moment, and will preserve peace and stability for the sake of their Homeland’s prosperity," the parliamentarians concluded.

Elections in Belarus

The presidential elections in Belarus took place on August 9. According to the Central Election Commission, Alexander Lukashenko won with 80.1% of the vote, followed by Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, his main rival, who secured 10.12% of the votes. Tikhanovskaya refused to recognize the results of the election. Immediately after the results were announced, protests engulfed Belarus, which promptly escalated into clashes with the law enforcement. The rallies continued for several days. According to the Ministry of the Interior, several thousand people were apprehended, while dozens of protesters and police officers were injured.

On August 19, an emergency EU summit on Belarus took place in a video conference format. Leaders of 27 EU nations, as well as heads of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council agreed upon the final statement, which reiterates the main ideas, previously expressed by the European institutions. Thus, the summit did not recognize the outcome of the Belarusian presidential elections, demanded to end violence, called on transparent investigation into power abuse, and promised to impose sanctions against a "substantial number" of the country’s top officials shortly.