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Pompeo, EU Officials Warn Belarus Over Election, Protests

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PRAGUE—U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday called on authorities in Belarus to protect protesters and give citizens there more political freedom, the latest pressure on a regime that may now face new sanctions from the neighboring European Union.

“We want the people in Belarus to have the freedoms that they’re demanding,” Mr. Pompeo said at a press conference with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš at the Czech Republic’s government headquarters in Prague. He said a Belarusian election Sunday “wasn’t held in a way that was free or fair.”

On Tuesday, EU foreign-policy chief Josep Borrell criticized authorities in Minsk, the Belarusian capital, for “disproportionate and unacceptable violence” and said the bloc was considering “taking measures against those responsible for the observed violence, unjustified arrests and falsification of election results.” EU foreign ministers are set to meet Friday to discuss possible Belarusian sanctions.

“We will be assessing the Belarusian authorities’ actions to address the current situation and conducting an in-depth review of the EU’s relations with Belarus,” Mr. Borrell said.

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