Merkel praised the "impressive" nature of the protests in Belarus

German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised women in Belarus for protesting peacefully in the wake of the country's disputed presidential election and said on Wednesday she intended to meet with the main opposition candidate soon.

Merkel praised the "impressive" nature of the protests in Belarus

Merkel's remarks come a day after French President Emmanuel Macron met with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in Lithuania. Tsikhanouskaya was deported’ after the August 9 election, after Belarusian officials claimed that President Alexander Lukashenko had won 10% of the vote with 80% of the vote.

Opposition activists and some pollsters say Lukashenko's dismissal was a sham. Britain and Canada have imposed sanctions on the president, his son and six government officials during protests in Belarus in the weeks following the election.

The European Union is also considering imposing sanctions. Germany currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.

"We do not recognize the election of President Lukashenko," Merkel told German lawmakers, reiterating her condemnation of the violent crackdown on political opponents in Belarus.

"I will soon meet Ms. Tsikhanouskaya, an opposition activist," he said, adding: "All you can say when you see the bravery of women on the streets for freedom and a life of corruption. I appreciate it and I find it really impressive.

Merkel, who has been Chancellor of Germany for 15 years, joined a new opposition movement in East Germany shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

His spokesman, Steffen Seibert, declined to say if a date or place had been set for a meeting with Tsikhanouskaya.

Asked about Britain and Canada's decision to impose sanctions on Lukashenko, Seibert said Germany was "determined" that the European Union should also agree on sanctions against Belarus.

"We are sorry that this has not been possible yet," he told reporters in Berlin. "But our goal remains to take such binding measures."

"To do this, we are engaging in in-depth discussions with our European partners. For example, this goal can be compared to that of the UK," Steffen Seibert said.


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