Germany’s Maas: Sanctions on Belarus could be reintroduced

Belarus could face more EU sanctions following its presidential election, which has been dogged by violence and allegations of fraud, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.

Hopes of democratic progress in Belarus had “suffered more than just a bitter defeat,” Maas said in Berlin, adding that there was “really absolutely nothing” to suggest that the vote had been free and fair.

“Instead, we have witnessed violence, intimidation and imprisonment,” Germany’s top diplomat said. He called for the immediate release of all peaceful protesters detained by police.

While most EU sanctions against Belarus had been lifted in recent years in response to reforms, Maas called for a reassessment of this “in light of the past weeks and days.”

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