World leaders on Wednesday expressed shock at the violent protesters who overran the US Congress and attempts to overturn the November 3 presidential election results which dealt a victory to Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
Police in the US Capitol responded with drawn guns and tear gas as hundreds of protesters stormed in and sought to force Congress to undo President Donald Trump’s election loss shortly after some of Trump’s fellow Republicans launched a last-ditch effort to throw out the results.
Here are reactions from around the world:
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a tweet described the scenes in the US Congress as a “disgrace”, saying the US stood for democracy around the world and that was it was “vital” now that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said democracy’s enemies would be cheered by scenes of violence at the US Capitol, and he called on Trump to accept US voters’ decision.
In a Tweet posted after protesters stormed the seat of the US legislature, Maas said the violence had been caused by inflammatory rhetoric. “Trump and his supporters must accept the decision of American voters at last and stop trampling on democracy.”
“Quite Maidan-style pictures are coming from DC,” Russia’s deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy posted on Twitter, referring to protests in Ukraine that toppled Russian-backed President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich in 2014.
“Some of my friends ask whether someone will distribute crackers to the protesters to echo Victoria Nuland stunt,” he said, citing a 2013 visit to Ukraine when then-US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland offered food to protesters.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called the violent protests in Washington “shocking scenes” and said the outcome of the democratic US election must be respected.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a tweet: “I am following with concern the news that are coming from Capitol Hill in Washington. I trust in the strength of America’s democracy.
“The new Presidency of @JoeBiden will overcome this time of tension, uniting the American people.”