Germany does not recognise Alexander Lukashenko as the president of Belarus, a government spokesman said Wednesday, saying his disputed re-election lacked "democratic legitimacy".
"The minimum requirements for democratic elections were by no means met. They were neither fair nor free. One can therefore not recognise the result of this vote," said Steffen Seibert after Lukashenko took the oath of office at a secret ceremony on Wednesday.
"Even after today's ceremony, Mr Lukashenko cannot evoke democratic legitimacy which would have been the condition for him to be recognised as a legitimate president."
The spokesman added that "the fact that this ceremony was prepared secretly and carried out away from the public eye is very telling."