Most of the guests would know that in World War Two Belarus lost a third of its population, Ambassador Ponomarev reminded the guests. Nevertheless, the spirit of the Belarusian nation had not been broken and its people did not give up. The largest partisan movement in Europe had been organised in his country. The courageous struggle of the Belarus people as well as all the peoples of the Soviet Union and the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition had defeated the enemy.

The heroism of the Belarusian nation, its enormous contribution to the victory over fascism had gained worldwide recognition. Belarus had become one of the founding members of the United Nations.

Ambassador Ponomarev said that since then the nation had built anew many towns and cities. Churches, castles and memorial places had been reconstructed. "We have done our best to regenerate farming and industry in our country, to create a robust IT sector, based on up-to-date know-how.

"We have established all the conditions for those who are ready to work hard for the benefit of our Motherland, who wish to reach new heights in their life, those who want to see Belarus strong, independent, prosperous, calm, peaceful and open, as it is today."

The ambassador said that a few days ago on June 21 had seen the opening in Minsk of the Second European Games, which continue until June 30. This event would witness hundreds of sport competitions featuring thousands of sportsmen and women from 50 European countries. Hungary was among them with a team of 150 athletes, and he wished them all success.

"Yes, it is true that we use this opportunity to introduce a genuine Belarus, a beautiful, hospitable and cosy country; to demonstrate that our country is a home to the sincerest and kindest people; to prove that our friendliness is not just a simple courtesy but a characteristic of our people, a natural state of our soul; and to share with our guests positive emotions from bright performances of the athletes and admiration of their victories."

Such moments are sincere and they unite nations, create incentives to move military and political battles to sport venues for the benefit of mankind, to enrich international relations with a spirit of trust and fair play, Ambassador Ponomarev said.

The Republic of Belarus and Hungary had crossed a milestone of 27 years in their diplomatic relations. Together they had established an excellent atmosphere of friendship and mutual understanding. The two governments maintained regular contacts on various issues of common interest.

Three Hungarian government ministers had been received in Belarus in just over one week. The Belarus Embassy in Budapest and Hungarian business associations regularly held economic and business fora. This successful cooperation in trade was based on the good image of Belarus tractors in Hungary, serious work carried out in the pharmaceutical industry and of course in the food industry.

Ambassador Ponomarev said he looked forward to more ambitious projects in industrial cooperation to be implemented soon, such as the assembling project of Stadler trains for the Budapest regional railroad.

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