President partakes in Minsk Ski Track 2012 winter holiday

    Sport is the best and the cheapest means to stay healthy, President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he took part in the winter holiday Minsk Ski Track 2012 in Raubichi on 4 February.

    The team of the President of Belarus came first in the 4x2.5km relay in Group A which comprised teams of Minsk and the oblasts.

    President Aleksandr Lukashenko presented awards to the winners of races.'

    After the race the President answered questions of Belarusian and foreign mass media.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko admitted that such events are intended to promote sport and healthy way of life.

    The head of state commented on possible relocation of the 2014 IIHF World Championship, which is scheduled to take place in Minsk. “Those who speak against holding the IIHF World Championship in Belarus have nothing to do with sport. Those politicians or, maybe people from close-to-politics circles, have never seen sticks or pucks or even do not know how they look like. Therefore I do not care much. However, evidently, this is a test for the International Ice Hockey Federation. Let us wait and see whether or not sport and politics are associated with each other,” the President said.

    In addition, the head of state commented on the hype which he said was raised by the fifth column about image losses for the President and the country as a whole. “Do you think we will bite the dust if they decide against holding the World Championship in Belarus? No, we will live on. Everything that we have built (hotels, sports grounds) in preparation for the championship will be there, for our people. They awarded us the World Championship because we have built a lot of facilities to develop ice sports,” the President stressed.

    “The decision was made. Belarus was chosen as the host of the IIHF World Championship in 2014. Certain individuals will reveal their true colors once again if they overturn the decision,” Aleksandr Lukashenko is confident.

    “Belarus deserves to host the championship. We will do our best to hold it on a high level,” the head of state added.

    The President also commented on the recent worsening of relations with the European Union.

    “This is total hysterics, and, as you see, there are two types of politicians, or just two exponents from the politics, at the forefront. One lives in Warsaw and the other – in Berlin,” the head of state said.

    The President noted: “I was deeply touched by how the German authorities (10-15 years ago) treated people who suffered in World War Two. Now I understand that all was just a game played by German politicians. If not they would have respected us for our enormous contribution to the peace. I am deeply concerned about this fact: how could they forget about it so quickly?” Aleksandr Lukashenko wondered.

    As for the sanctions, the President noted that everyone believe the court should be independent. “They started from putting pressure on judges, and this was made not by chance. It was a signal to judges: if you take decisions not to the liking of Brussels or Washington, you will be denied a visa then,” the head of state said.

    “They are itching to undermine our stability and destroy our state. We will not allow them to do it. We will take a harsh response to all their so-called sanction measures,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.