Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius believes that the presidential elections in Belarus were not free and fair and if the authority of this country holds repressions against the opposition, Vilnius considers the imposing of sanctions as LRT.lt reported.
“It's difficult to call this election transparent, democratic, and free, regrettably,” Linkevičius said.
According to him, Lithuania will pay more attention to human rights in the neighboring country and extend the cooperation with the Belarusian opposition.
“The EU had warned that violence against peaceful demonstrators and journalists was unacceptable, and Belarus needs to look for ways to speak with civil society. Unfortunately, we didn’t see that,” the minister said.
According to Linkevičius, Vilnius prepared the response to the actions of the Belarusian government as soon as information about possible repressions appears.
“We need to collect more information. Over a thousand detained people is an impressive indicator and they must be immediately released. If Belarus gets back to the political prisoner issue, with no doubt, we will once again consider sanctions,” Linkevičius said.
The minister also underlined that preservation of the independence of Belarus, free from the interference from Russia meets the national interests of Lithuania.
Moreover, President of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda stated that the EU should discuss sanctions for Belarus as the response to the actions of the authorities of the republic for actions against the opposition as Interfax-Ukraine reported.
According to LRT.lt, Lithuania's opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats urges the EU to impose sanctions against the representatives of the Belarusian government and demand to hold new fair presidential elections and reduce any financial aid to the Belarusian government until the demands are fulfilled.
Gabrielius Landsbergis, the party's leader, and Ingrida Šimonytė, who leads the party's candidate list for the upcoming general election, expressed their position in a letter to the European People's Party.
On August 9, the clashes of the protesters with the law enforcers started in Minsk. The law enforcers used stun grenades and water cannons against the protesters. Besides, according to the witnesses, about 11:10 p.m., the prison track ran into a group of people standing at the carriageways. Later, it was reported that a man died during the protests. A young man received a fatal head injury. According to the Belarusian Interior Ministry, no deceased observed during the protests.
Besides Minsk, the protests took place in eight cities of Belarus – Lida, Baranovichi, Brest, Grodno, Zhodino, Zhlobino, Pinsk, Kobrin.
On August 10, protests against the results of the presidential elections were resumed in the Republic of Belarus, a flash-noise grenade exploded in the center of Minsk; journalists talked about three volleys at the intersection of Kalvariyskaya Street and Masherov Avenue.
The presidential elections took place in Belarus the same day. According to the results of the national exit poll, current president Alexander Lukashenko gains 80.23%. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is supported by 9.9% of people.
Meanwhile, foreign polling stations reported that Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya won. According to unofficial results, Tsikhanouskaya won presidential elections in Belarus.