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Belarus opposition leader chides EU over slow response to Lukashenko

Belarus opposition leader chides EU over slow 
response to Lukashenko

dpa
Strasbourg
Exiled Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya warned the European Union on Wednesday it must live up to values by actively curbing threats presented by authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko.
It is “getting late” to take decisive action, Tikhanovskaya - who lives in member state Lithuania - told the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
EU sanctions and support to date are appreciated but came too slow at times, and Belarusian civil society continued to suffer, she said.
Following the presidential election in Belarus last August, which was not recognized by the EU, there were mass protests against long-time incumbent Lukashenko. These were violently put down by the state The EU also blames Lukashenko for the accumulation of thousands of refugees on its external borders in recent weeks as retaliation for sanctions on Minsk.
Tikhanovskaya, who is 39 and regarded by the opposition and many others as the true winner of the August poll, warned that even if the EU manages gets the border situation in hand - as senior officials say is happening - Lukashenko could go further.
“Supposing this abuse of migrants is somehow stopped, do you really believe the regime’s threats beyond its borders will end there?” she asked EU lawmakers. Minsk would resort to “whatever it takes to get what it wants”, she warned, including to increasing drug or contraband flows, military provocation or nuclear power plant disasters at EU borders. Her comments come after she chided German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this week for phoning Lukasehnko in a bid to calm the border crisis.

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