EU sanctions on Belarus would take weeks to come into force, Reuters reported, citing an anonymous EU official. According to the official, the EU does not wish to see the same scenario in Belarus that happened in Ukraine six years ago that could "tilt the geopolitical balance for Belarus between Russia and the EU".
Mass opposition protests broke out across Belarus following a presidential election on 9 August which saw incumbent Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko re-elected for a sixth term. While according to the electoral authorities Lukashenko collected over 80 percent of the vote, the opposition insists that his key contender, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, won the election.
Police cracked down on protesters during the first few days of the unrest, but have since halted the excessive use of force.
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