Zsolt Németh, the (Fidesz) chairman of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said that Hungary and its parliament should stand by the Belarusian people. After a committee meeting held behind closed doors, he told a press conference that the countries of central Europe, as former communist dictatorships, were following how the democratic movement was unfolding in Belarus with “heightened attention and compassion”. He said it was expected of Western countries, the European Union and NATO, and member states of the Council of Europe that they should provide their full support to the democratic movement within Belarus, which “has a strong, broad and serious social base”. Németh said the falsified election results, the brutal actions of the authorities subsequently and their violent treatment of protesters and opposition leaders had caused outrage on the international stage.
“We, too, condemn these manifestations most strongly,” he said, noting Hungarian support for initiatives by the EU, NATO, the OSCE and the Council of Europe as well as the Visegrad Group in the recent past. Hungary, he added, supports Poland’s approach to the matter, adding that he was confident the initiative backed by 14 EU member states would keep up the pressure essential for resolving the situation in Belarus satisfactorily.
Németh called for all key political actors to engage in dialogue, adding that he supported a motion by Cheryl Gillan, head of the Council of Europe’s political affairs committee, for the Council to play a mediating role. The Belarusian authorities, he said, had shown a degree of openness towards the constitutional process. Referring to earlier remarks by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, he said the EU must combine its diplomatic strategy with economic components, and a proposal by Olivér Várhelyi, the EU commissioner for neighbourhood policy, to provide 53 million euros of targeted aid to Belarus during the coronavirus epidemic should be acted on.