German president urges military in Belarus not to use violence

Germany’s president on Monday urged the military in Belarus not to use violence as Belarusians protest against what demonstrators say was the fraudulent re-election a week ago of the country’s longtime president.

“I urge the Belarusian military not to sin against their own people by using force,” said Frank-Walter Steinmeier, whose post is largely ceremonial.

Steinmeier, who said he admired the demonstrators’ courage, urged President Alexander Lukashenko to seek dialogue with them and said the people in Belarus deserved solidarity and support.

Britain said the re-election of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko earlier this month was “fraudulent” and it would work with international partners to sanction those responsible and hold the country’s authorities to account.

“The world has watched with horror at the violence used by the Belarusian authorities to suppress the peaceful protests that followed this fraudulent Presidential election,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Monday. “The UK does not accept the results.”

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