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Hungarian-Belarusian relations are not close enough

In Independence Palace, Mr Orbán 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.

The Prime Minister stressed that there was no unsettled issue or dispute of any kind between the two countries, there were no political conflicts of interest, and there was mutual respect.

“In theory, everything is fine,” Mr Orbán 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.

Photo: Zoltán Fischer

Mr Lukashenko confirmed that neither political nor economic and trade relations were at a level that the two countries could achieve. The volume of trade, too, should be higher than it is at present between Hungary and Belarus, he said.

He stressed that both parties would have to do everything they could in order to boost bilateral relations as well as relations between the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union. The President added that his country would be committed to all agreements.

The programme of the official visit will continue with a press conference, and later in the afternoon with the signing of multiple bilateral agreements between the Hungarian and Belarusian parties.