RPT - EU Denying Lukashenko Legitimacy May Repeat 'Ukraine Mistake' In Belarus - AfD Lawmakers

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 16th September, 2020) The European Union's refusal to recognize Alexander Lukashenko as legitimate president may lead to Belarus repeating Ukraine's scenario and plunging into a full-blown internal conflict, Petr Bystron, the spokesman for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in the Bundestag's committee on foreign affairs, told Sputnik.

Earlier on Tuesday, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that the bloc considers the August 9 election in Belarus fraudulent and no longer sees Lukashenko as legitimate president. The EU is set to unveil targeted sanctions in coming days and revise partnership with the Eastern European country.

"The EU has no business interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. It is in danger of repeating the terrible mistakes of Ukraine 2014, which may lead to civil war and a country being torn apart again," Bystron said.

The lawmaker sees the protests that broke out in Belarus after the opposition refused to recognize Lukashenko's reelection as a color revolution and a "part of a larger strategy to destabilize governments from Montenegro and Macedonia to Bulgaria and Serbia."

According to the politician, these efforts are driven by "certain powerful actors and NGOs" that also dominate the bloc, and EU sanctions are "just one part of this larger plan."

"We are worried EU sanctions against Belarus will be used to drive a wedge between Germany and Russia over the Nord Stream [2] pipeline," he added.

Siegbert Droese, a member of the Bundestag committee on EU affairs, shared his AfD colleague's concerns, saying that sanctions would only worsen relationship with Belarus and escalate tensions.

"Until today, there is no clear evidence for any falsification of the elections. 'Probably' is no evidence. Why doesnt the EU demand new elections? We are against any sanctions, against any country. Diplomacy is always better," he told Sputnik.

Protests continue gripping Belarus every Sunday. Ex-candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who has not conceded her defeat, keeps calling for rallies while being in self-exile in Lithuania.

After rallies broke out in the country, some politicians, including French President Emmanuel Macron, have said that they would like to avoid a repeat of Ukraine's events in Belarus. Ukraine plunged into a violent conflict in 2014 after then-President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country amid protests. Donbas denounced the events as a coup and refused to recognize the new government in Kiev, which soon unleashed a military operation against the breakaway region.