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Borrell: We have to deal with Lukashenko and Maduro even though we don’t recognize them

The European High Representative for Foreign Affairs, the Spanish Josep Borrell, maintains that the European Union does not recognize Alexander Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus, nor does it recognize Nicolás Maduro, but defends that we must continue dealing with them, because they control the Government of their countries.

“We do not recognize him as a legitimate president (Lukashenko). Nor do we recognize Nicolás Maduro. From this point of view, Maduro and Lukashenko are in exactly the same situation. (…). However, whether we like it or not, they control the government and we have to continue dealing with them, despite not recognizing their democratic legitimacy, ”says Borrell in an interview this Sunday in the newspaper El País.

Josep Borrell, President of the European Parliament (2004-2007) and Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs (2018-2019), argues that the objective of the European Council is that “Belarusians have the opportunity to express themselves freely”.

Asked about how far the European Union will go to get Lukashenko to leave power, he assures that “the case of Belarus is not comparable to that of Ukraine.”

“There was a tension between the European vocation and that of associating with Russia, the protesters carried European flags. It had a geopolitical dimension. Belarusians are not arguing now whether mom or dad. They simply demand a regime of civil liberties and rights ”, the European High Representative for Foreign Affairs notes.

Regarding the EU’s relationship with Russia, he assures that “it is as complex” as with China: “It is a polyhedron that has many faces. With Russia, on the one hand we sanction it but on the other we have an energy dependence that for some countries is very strong. Russia does not look the same if you are Lithuanian or Portuguese ”.

Of the possible poisoning of the Russian opponent Alexéi Navalni – hospitalized in Germany after his transfer from Siberia-, he says that “naturally” worries and “occupies” him and that these are things that “remind us of events that already worried us”, but he points out that “it is still all to be verified ”.

Regarding the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic in the EU, its head of Foreign Affairs considers that after the initial divisions, “later there was a joint response, difficult to develop, which broke the mold”, so Europeans should feel “ satisfied “.

“Now Europeans see that Europe is mobilizing organizing solidarity in a deeper way,” he concludes.