“We consider the August 9th elections to be fraudulent and we do not recognize Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus,” Spaniard Josep Borrell said during a debate in the European Parliament in plenary in Brussels.

“We are in the process of adopting sanctions against a significant number of people responsible for violence, repression and falsification of election results,” he added.

“These sanctions should be adopted before the European Council on 24 and 25 September in Brussels if we are to maintain European credibility,” he said. The decision should be taken at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels next Monday, AFP said.

“We want a solution that allows sanctions against Turkey and Belarus at the same pace,” he said.

The EU is also examining its relations with Belarus to “identify areas where contacts should be suspended or revised. Those in which it has an interest in initiating and even intensifying contacts and supporting the Belarusian people and civil society and areas where The EU can provide additional assistance if there is a move towards a new democratic Belarus, “the Spaniard added.

Josep Borrell denounced the continued repression in Belarus, where “more than 7,500 peaceful protesters have been arrested and 500 cases of torture have been recorded and documented.”

“If the situation continues to deteriorate, additional sanctions will be considered (…). We call on the Belarusian authorities to find a way out of the crisis by ending violence and illegal detention and establishing an inclusive national dialogue,” and the EU is ready to “Supports any credible initiative” in this direction, the head of European diplomacy said.

“New elections under the supervision of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) would be the best solution, but so far we have not been able to contact the Belarusian authorities at any level,” he lamented.

“Lukashenko’s determination to stay in power with Moscow’s growing support makes it all difficult,” Borrell concluded the day after a meeting between Belarusian President and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.