The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has urged EU countries not to recognize the results of last week's presidential elections in Belarus.
In a resolution issued on Thursday, the PACE specifically expressed regret over a surge in violence and the crackdown on political dissidents in the ex-Soviet republic.
The PACE also demanded an immediate release of those put behind bars in Belarus on political charges.
On December 19, Belarusian opposition initiated an array of protest rallies in the capital Minsk to say their "No" to the results of the presidential polls that saw an overwhelming victory of President Alexander Lukashenko. More than 600 protesters were arrested, including several presidential candidates.