Pompeo Says US May Impose Sanctions on Belarus as Protests in Country Continue

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States might impose sanctions on Belarus over the ongoing wave of violence in the country following the presidential election.

“Oh, I’m sure we’ll look at each of these things, and the important thing to note is the criteria. What is it that we believe that we can do, not just the United States unilaterally, but in a multilateral way to deliver good outcomes for the Belarusian people, whether that turns out to be sanctions or turns out to be making decisions about product deliveries? Those are all things that are yet to be determined. We’re still pretty fresh off this election and we need to see how things settle out here in the near future,” Pompeo said on Wednesday.

He pointed out that Washington was disappointed that the Sunday presidential election in Belarus was not free and fair.

“We’ve seen this behavior before, and we regret that this is how it’s transpired. Then we’ve watched the violence and the aftermath, peaceful protesters being treated in ways that are inconsistent with how they should be treated,” Pompeo added.

On Sunday, Belarus held the presidential election. According to the Belarusian Central Election Commission, incumbent Alexander Lukashenko secured his sixth term with over 80 percent of the vote. The country’s opposition, which consolidated around presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, has challenged the election results, accusing the authorities of massive falsifications during the voting.

Since the announcement of the official results, unauthorized opposition rallies have engulfed Belarusian cities, with security forces trying to put them down.

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