, Ireportnews

, Ireportnews

Ukraine has frozen contact with Belarus and joined the European Union in condemning the recent elections in its northerly neighbour as not free or fair, foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Friday.

“We put all contacts on pause until the situation in Belarus stabilizes”, Kuleba said, adding that Ukraine would take a decision on imposing sanctions on Belarus after seeing what the EU would do.

Belarus has been rocked by three weeks of protests and strikes after president Alexander Lukashenko, who has led the country since 1994, won a landslide victory in the August 9 election. The vote was denounced by EU officials, and forced Lukashenko to look to Moscow for support.

The opposition says that Lukashenko’s main challenger, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, was the rightful winner and wants new elections. The election committee claimed Tskihanouskaya won only about 10%of the vote to Lukashenko’s 80%.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky has called for new elections but said it was up to Belarusians to choose their leader. Belarus responded saying it did not need Ukraine’s advice, according to local media.

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