Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban paid his first official visit to Belarus on Friday and held talks with Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko, Kormany.hu reports.
During the first part of his talks with Lukashenko attended by the press, Orban urged the development of Hungarian-Belarusian political and economic relations. He said it was an honour for him to be the first Hungarian prime minister to pay an official visit to Belarus. This has been “a long overdue debt,” he observed, also indicating that Alexander Lukashenko last paid a visit to Hungary in 1994. He added he sincerely hoped that there would also be a change in this state of affairs.
“In theory, everything is fine,” Orban continued, however, “we haven’t made much of this, our political relations are not close enough,” while the volume of economic cooperation is also modest, despite the fact that Belarus is an advanced country and Hungary has always respected its machine and food industries as well as its culture and sports achievements. The prime minister expressed hope that this meeting would mark the beginning of major progress in the future, “I came to your country with the sincere intention of cooperation,” he said.
It is time for the European Union to lift the existing sanctions on Belarus, Orban said at a press conference after the talks with Lukashenko, Belta reports. The prime minister stressed that his country supports the development of the Eastern Partnership, of which Belarus is a member. Partnership cannot be built with sanctions. Therefore, it is time for the European Union to lift the existing sanctions against Belarus, he said.
Speaking about the issues discussed at the meeting with the Belarusian leader, Viktor Orban mentioned the settlement of the conflict in Ukraine. “We have discussed the Minsk Agreements. I believe that their implementation is the only hope for resolving the situation in Ukraine. I am confident that Belarus plays a very important role in settling the Ukrainian conflict,” he said.
According to Belta, Lukashenko thanked Viktor Orban for coming to Minsk. “It is a bold step (in this seemingly complicated psychological and medical situation called pandemic) , which allowed you and I to break the so-called international quarantine and revive the format of live communication between European states,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, Hungary is the closest partner of Belarus in the European Union. “Hungary understands us and helps advance our relations with the European Union like no one else,” he noted. “The relations improved considerably in the last few years. They became more pragmatic, equal, and, most importantly, productive. Our friends from Budapest and Viktor Orban personally did a lot to accomplish that.”
Source: Belta, Kormany.hu