Meeting with Russia’s Sport Minister Pavel Kolobkov

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko is in favor of removing a cap on Belarusian players in team sports in Russia. This topic was discussed at the meeting of the head of state with Russia’s Sport Minister Pavel Kolobkov on 11 December.

“I would like to thank you for your efforts to eliminate differences between Belarusian and Russian athletes. It seems that an ice hockey issue was solved, but I think that we need to do it in other sports. Some time ago I told the president [Vladimir Putin] that we should not be afraid of what other states will think. If they want to have equal rights, they should join the UnionState of Belarus and Russia,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The president praised the achievements of Russian athletes at recent international competitions and added that if Belarusian athletes are not there he is always rooting for Team Russia. “Your athletes were great. They showed their true character and defeated Norwegians in ski sports. I hope they will show such good results at in the future,” the head of state said.

The meeting also focused on the joint use of sports facilities for the training of Belarusian and Russian athletes, including during the preparations for the Olympic Games in Japan. Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that Russian athletes can train in Belarus at any time if necessary.