GENEVA, September 24. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s inauguration does not require separate statement of recognition or non-recognition from Bern, because it is Switzerland’s principle to only recognize states, not their governments, Swiss Foreign Ministry told TASS Thursday.
Answering a request to clear the Switzerland’s position on recognition or non-recognition of Lukashenko as the President of Belarus, the Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesman Pierre-Alain Eltschinger stated that "it is not Switzerland's practice to either recognize or not recognize governments."
"As a matter of principle, Switzerland only recognizes states," the spokesman said. "The result of an election should, however, represent the will of the people."
On Wednesday, Lukashenko swore in as the President of Belarus for the sixth time. For the first time in history, the ceremony date had not been announced in advance. After the ceremony, a number of countries stated their non-recognition of Lukashenko’s legitimacy. EU High Representative on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell announced that the Union considers Lukashenko’s inauguration and new presidential term lacking sufficient democratic legitimacy and therefore reconsiders its relations with the republic.
Nationwide demonstrations have engulfed Belarus following the August 9 presidential election. According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide, garnering 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival in the race, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, came in second, with 10.12% of the ballot. However, she refused to recognize the election’s outcome, and left Belarus for Lithuania. After the results of the exit polls were announced late on August 9, mass protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other Belarusian cities. During the early post-election period, the rallies snowballed into fierce clashes between the protesters and police. The current unrest is being cheered on by the opposition’s Coordination Council, which has been beating the drum for more protests. In response, the Belarusian authorities have castigated the ongoing turmoil and demanded that these unauthorized demonstrations be stopped.