Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for the Belarus authorities to hold a new election to ease mounting tensions.
"Let's imagine that I'm confident about myself, I'm confident in the people's votes, I'm a confident person. How can I calm everyone down? I would definitely say: 'In one month, there'll be a new vote, and I am running in that new election. Whoever wants to run, go ahead.' I'd invite everyone – all international observers, all of them," Zelensky told in an interview with Euronews.
"And I'd tell the people of Belarus: 'Please, elect whoever you want. And after that result, there would be no more questions, I'm convinced about it. If Lukashenko won, he'd win, if someone else won, then it's someone else. But everyone would be calm, without blood. That'd be fair. It would make history," Zelensky concluded.
The Belarusian foreign ministry has snubbed the Ukrainian president's advice, saying Ukraine leadership will long have "more important issues to deal with" than issuing recommendations.
That'd be fair. It would make history
Read alsoLukashenko warns Zelensky against "fomenting riots" in Belarus"You know, Ukraine is a brotherly country to us, and the Ukrainian people are a brother nation for Belarusians. Therefore, of course, at this frankly difficult moment for our country, it would be great to feel some kind of support or at least understanding, not listen to hackneyed advice coming from all sides. Now we definitely don't need it," spokesman Anatoliy Glaz said, according to BelTA.
"However, if you look at the recent history of Ukraine, of course, they do have certain experience in some issues. But the result of these political experiments certainly doesn't convince the Ukrainians, and not only them, of their correctness and expedience. Moreover, in our opinion, the Ukrainian leadership will for many years ahead have many more important issues to deal with inside the country on an everyday basis rather than giving advice to neighbors," the press secretary said.
Belarus elections and protests: reactions
On August 14, the European Union announced it did not recognize the outcome of the presidential elections in Belarus and on August 19 agreed to sanction the country's officials over electoral fraud and violence against protesters.
Ukraine said it "generally shares" the position voiced by the EU.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the election result must be reviewed and those responsible for mistreatments of peaceful demonstrators must be sanctioned.
Estonia and Lithuania have agreed not to buy electricity from the Belarusian NPPs.
Pope Francis made a special address dedicated to the situation in Belarus, calling for an end to violence.
Read also"Threat not only to Belarus": Lukashenko speaks with PutinU.S. President Donald Trump said he would talk to Russia about the Belarus protests. "I like seeing democracy," he told reporters, according to Reuters. "It doesn't seem like it's too much democracy there in Belarus."
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab stated the UK did not accept the results of the Belarusian presidential elections, calling for a probe into fraud and sanctioning those responsible, including for the violent suppression of protests.