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EU, US threaten to review ties with Belarus

The European Union and the United States jointly threatened on Thursday to review ties with Belarus following a crackdown on the opposition after elections that kept President Alexander Lukashenko in power.

world Updated: Dec 23, 2010 19:30 IST

The European Union and the United States jointly threatened on Thursday to review ties with Belarus following a crackdown on the opposition after elections that kept President Alexander Lukashenko in power.

A statement by EU diplomatic chief Catherine Ashton and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for the immediate release of the presidential candidates and more than 600 opposition demonstrators who have been detained.

"Taken together, the elections and their aftermath represent an unfortunate step backwards in the development of democratic governance and respect for human rights in Belarus," it said.

"It is against this background that we will be assessing the Government of Belarus's actions to address the current situation and to take developments into account as we review our relations with Belarus," the statement added.