Aleksandr Lukashenko makes trip to Sochi 

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko visited the Russian city Sochi on 4 January upon the invitation of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Taking into account the many years of the Belarus president’s infatuation with ice hockey and knowledge in the field as well as the experience of preparations for the 2014 world ice hockey championship in Belarus, the Russia President invited Aleksandr Lukashenko to examine the central Olympic ice hockey arena and to take part in a friendly ice hockey match.

The Belarusian head of state was made familiar with the conditions that will be available during the Olympic ice hockey tournament and visited the Bolshoy Ice Dome. Before the match in the locker room Aleksandr Lukashenko talked to international ice hockey legends, who were going to take part in the friendly competition. After that the Belarus President went to play the game as part of the team that also included Vladimir Putin.

Aleksandr Lukashenko’s jersey number was 1, Vladimir Putin’s was 11. The team was captained by Vyacheslav Fetisov. The goalkeeper on the presidents’ team was Dmitry Baskov, a member of the ice hockey team of the Belarus president, director of the children’s sports school Dinamo. Apart from Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin the team included such hockey stars as Valery Kamensky, Pavel Bure, Alexander Kozhevnikov, and a number of other famous hockey players. The presidential team also included Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and members of the Belarus president's team Andrei Astashevich and Mikhail Zakharov. The opposing side was represented by Alexei Zhamnov, Alexander Mogilny, brothers Golikovs, Alexander Yakushev, Sergei Makarov and other international ice hockey legends.

Since the very start the presidential team stayed on top of the game, enjoyed an edge in the number of scores and was ahead of the competition till the very end. The friendly match ended in a 12:3 victory for the team that featured the two heads of state, amateur players of the Night Hockey League and international ice hockey stars. After the game Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin continued talking in a casual setting.