Baltic leaders urge Belarus to hold 'free and fair' elections By

Baltic leaders urge Belarus to hold 'free and fair' elections By

In a joint statement, the three prime ministers called for a new election to be held with the involvement of global observers.

German spoke a few hours before Taraikovsky's funeral and burial, an event that could reinforce the anger of demonstrators who have protested what they consider a sham presidential election and the violent police crackdown on opposition.

Mass unrest followed Lukashenko's re-election victory last week, as tens of thousands of people took to the streets accusing him of rigging the vote.

As the massive protests in Belarus continue after a controversial election that saw President Alexander Lukashenko extend his mandate, questions arose about how Belarus could deal with potential US and European Union sanctions and how cryptos such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) could help bypass them.

The election has been condemned by the European Union as "neither free nor fair".

Opposition politician Svetlana Tikhanovskaya says she won a majority in last Sunday's vote.

Other countries in the region with communist-era memories of corrupt and authoritarian leaders also have also spoken out on behalf of the anti-government protesters contesting that Lukashenko fairly won reelection to a sixth term.

Lithuania, Poland and Latvia said they were prepared to mediate, provided Belarusian authorities stopped the violence against protesters, release detained demonstrators and form a national council with members of civil society.

After a visit at the Central Electoral Committee to file a contestation of the election results, Tsikhanouskaya was detained for several hours, and then fled to Lithuania, citing concerns for the safety of her children whom she had sent overseas during the campaign. Tsikhanouskaya urged her supporters to stop protests in an earlier video that her associates said was recorded under pressure from law enforcement officials while she was still in Minsk.

"We don't fight, we don't need war", she said.

The same media outlet quotes Valery Petrov, Vice President of Market Development and Regulation for the Russian Association of the Cryptoindustry and Blockchain, as stating that should sanctions be imposed in the IT sector, they may "instantly" polarize the Belarusian crypto sector.

What's the latest with the protests?

Opposition supporters turned out in the capital, Minsk, on Saturday where they laid flowers, waved banners and chanted for the long-time president to resign.

"That violence has changed anything - I can't stay silent", Larisa Rybak, a petite woman in blue-and-black overalls of the Hrodna Azot fertiliser plant, told the Telegraph as she walked out of the plant's gate at the end of her shift to join a march into the city centre.

Mr Lukashenko had said earlier on Saturday he wanted to speak to Mr Putin, warning the protests in Minsk were not just a threat to his country.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Saturday that he was glad to see that some protesters in Belarus had been freed but that it was not enough.

Amnesty International said accounts from released detainees suggested "widespread torture".

"Step down before it's too late, before you throw the people into a awful abyss, into the abyss of civil war". We could hear women being beaten. "On the police bus, I saw them break one man's rib and he was crying in pain".

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