Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned the international community, and especially Russia, against violently intervening in the open political and social crisis in Belarus after the controversial elections earlier this month.
“I hope this type of violence is not used,” Merkel replied to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement that Russian military personnel may be entering the country to help President Alexander Lukashenko, who is accused of a fraudulent election victory.
Merkel has also asked that the Belarusian demonstrators can protest against the president “independently and without outside interference from either side” and has reiterated the importance of respecting the country’s sovereignty.
These statements were made at the same time as the European Union’s foreign ministers agreed to sanction at least a number of leaders in Belarus in response to the violent repression of protests in the country and the manipulation of the 9 September elections. August.