Video conference: EU does not recognize the election results in Belarus and imposing sanctions

Video conference of the members of the European Council, 19 August 2020 

EUCO videoconference: Press Conference by Presidents von der Leyen and Michel, European Commission

Main results

The members of the European Council held a video conference on 19 August. They discussed the situation which unfolded in the aftermath of the presidential elections in Belarus on 9 August. EU leaders also addressed developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and in Mali.


As the elections in Belarus were neither free nor fair, and did not meet international standards, the EU does not recognise the results presented by the Belarus authorities.

The European Union stands in solidarity with the people of Belarus. And we do not accept impunity. The protests in Belarus are not about geopolitics. This is about the right of the people to freely elect their leadership.

Charles Michel, President of the European Council

Leaders condemned the violence against peaceful protesters. The EU expects a complete and transparent investigation into all alleged abuses. They affirmed that civil society and opposition actors must be protected from arbitrary arrests and violence.

The EU will shortly impose sanctions on a substantial number of individuals responsible for violence, repression, and election fraud.

We call on the Belarusian authorities to find a way out of the crisis through an end to violence, de-escalation, and an inclusive national dialogue. Only a peaceful and democratic process, underpinned by independent and free media and a strong civil society, can provide sustainable solutions. All parties, including third states, should support such a process.

Charles Michel, President of the European Council

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