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Hungary’s Lukasehenko dilemma

August 13th, 2020

Two months after the Prime Minister’s visit to Belarus, left-wing outlets ponder what choices remain open to him as President Lukashenko’s electoral victory is widely believed to be the result of electoral fraud.

On 24.hu, Zsolt Kerner wonders whether the Hungarian government will support or veto the planned new EU sanctions against Belarus, as European leaders seem convinced that the Belarusian presidential elections were rigged. After his talks in Minsk in early June, Kerner recalls, Prime Minister Victor Orbán urged Europe to end the remaining sanctions against Belarus (most such measures were lifted in 2016).

hvg.hu finds it telling that the government appears to be waiting before dispatching its routine telegram of congratulations to President Lukashenko on his re-election. (According to diplomatic protocol that message should be sent by President Áder.) Government sources did not reply to hvg’s question whether such an official telegram has already been sent to Minsk.

In an angry article in Népszava, Miklós Hargitai accuses the Prime Minister of entertaining friendly relations with dictators, and interprets his attitude toward Lukashenko in that context. He recalls that while in Minsk, the Prime Minister said the two peoples are closer to each other than is commonly thought. He adds that the people of Belarus have now visibly had enough of their number one leader.

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