Hungarian Ambassador Zita Ilona Bencsik presented credentials to Alexander Lukashenko. The event is unprecedented because European Union countries did not recognize the results of the presidential elections in Belarus in 2020.
The ceremony, which is widely described by the state-owned Belarusian news agency BelTA, took place on Thursday in Minsk. Self-proclaimed president Alexander Lukashenko received credentials from 11 diplomats. They were submitted by the ambassadors of Kazakhstan, Hungary, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Uganda, Cambodia, the Philippines, Jordan and Colombia.
The Hungarian ambassador presented credentials to Lukashenko
– I hope that diplomatic work will contribute to the rapprochement of our nations and help develop truly friendly interstate relations, Lukashenko said to the ambassadors who will represent their countries in Belarus.
Lukashenko said that diplomats were starting their mission in a difficult situation. – Today, the whole world is on a difficult path to shaping a new structure of international relations, which is constantly moving towards multipolarity. This process is irreversible, no matter how much one would like it to be otherwise. A new, and in my opinion more just and reasonable, order of cooperation between all, not selected, states is being built on the principles of respect and partnership, said the Belarusian dictator during the ceremony.
“Precedent” after 2020
The presence of the Hungarian ambassador among the diplomats who presented their credentials is astonishing. Earlier, on September 14, Zita Ilona Bencsik had already submitted a copy of the letters to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Siarhei Aleinik. The opposition website zerkalo.io then stated that this was a “precedent” after 2020. European Union member states did not then recognize the results of the presidential elections and Lukashenko’s rule as legal.
Since then, EU countries have lowered the importance of diplomatic relations with Minsk and, after the terms of office of previously accredited ambassadors, have ended, they are sending representatives with the rank of charge d’affaires.
Zerkalo.io emphasized that Hungary is “one of the few Western countries that maintains official contacts with Minsk.” In February, the head of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Peter Szijjarto, visited Belarus, and in the spring, his Belarusian counterpart paid a return visit to Hungary.
Lukashenko: Hungary is a reliable friend
During Thursday’s meeting with diplomats, Lukashenko, discussing Belarus’s relations with individual countries, said that Hungary “is a long-standing and reliable friend of Belarus, with whom relations, having stood the test of time, are built on pragmatic principles and mutual respect.”
– We are ready to continue dialogue with Hungary to de-escalate tensions in the region by resolving controversial issues only through peaceful negotiations – said the Belarusian dictator.