Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu says the European Union should react to abuses committed in Belarus against protesters who say presidential elections were rigged.
Aurescu said Wednesday evening on Twitter that the EU “mustn’t tolerate abuses such as (the) recent detainment of representatives of the Coordination Council of opposition,” he wrote.
He said he would “renew the call for sanctions,” at an informal two-day meeting of foreign ministers in Berlin on Thursday.
Alexander Lukashenko has claimed a new term in office after 26 years in power. But the EU and US have rejected the 9 August vote as neither free nor fair.
Belarus’s long-time leader promised to crack down on his opponents as daily demonstrations swelled into unprecedented, mass protests during the weekends in the capital Minsk.
Aurescu also pledged 100,000 euros from Romania’s government to support Belarus’ civil society and independent media.
Nicolae Ceausescu ruled Romania with an iron fist in the late years of his 24-year-rule. He was ousted and executed during the 1989 anti-communist revolt.
Belarus’ Coordination Council is a body formed by presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya during the Belarusian protests that followed the disputed Belarusian presidential election.
A criminal case has targeted the Co-ordination Council, which Lukashenko accuses of trying to seize power.
The council says it wants to negotiate a peaceful transition of power after an election the opposition says was rigged.
The European Union has promised to impose sanctions on Belarusians responsible for allegedly fixing the vote and dispersing protesters. A senior European official said Tuesday as many as 20 could be targeted, Euractiv reported.