Speech during closing ceremony of 2nd European Games

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Dear friends,

A few minutes left till the final chords of the 2nd European Games. It was a feast of bright unforgettable impressions and strong emotions. We had everything – joy, happiness, and disappointment. This is what sport is all about.

It was a celebration of friendship and unity, hot competitions which united millions of people in Europe into one big family. But first of all it was a gift to Belarusians as a testimony of our capabilities and our ability to move mountains, but only when we are together.

We have opened all doors of Belarus wide for our guests. Belarus is a medium-sized country on the European scale. It lives and develops according to its own laws and traditions stemming from times immemorial. The country does not create problems and does not lodge claims about neighbors. Our neighbors are just too different. It is sometimes difficult to come to terms with them.

For ten days Minsk arenas were awash with the atmosphere of mutual respect created by residents and guests of Belarus, by everyone who loves sport, who believes in the power of the Olympic mission which is aimed at preserving peace on Earth.

The Flame of Peace – the symbol of the 2nd European Games – became the embodiment of this great idea. Before the torch is doused, let’s thank those who have made a contribution to the history of this competition.

I would like to thank the organizers for impeccable preparations for the games and hard work during the actual course of the competitions and solemn events. I thank reporters who covered all the events promptly and effectively, who kept viewers and readers up to date on the strongest episodes of the games. Thank you to the judges for honest work and unprejudiced decisions. And, of course, thank you to all the athletes who selflessly defended the sport honor of their own countries, the athletes who made history of the 2ndEuropean Games Minsk 2019 with outstanding records and bright victories.

I also want to thank our volunteers who worked nearly round the clock helping guests and athletes feel at home in Belarus. Without your aid it would have been impossible to create such a warm, sincere, and well-wishing atmosphere. I’ve instructed the government and the Belarus President Administration to create a databank of the volunteer movement and use your knowledge and talent for the development of the country. We cannot afford losing 8,000 people, who had been preparing for this event for two years. Who had learned how to provide first aid and support. Who know how to speak many languages. Thank you very much!

Thank you to all the fans whose ardent support inspired athletes charging them with belief in success and leading them to highly coveted victories. The athletes admit: they just couldn’t perform poorly in the face of such strong support of the spectators. And the athletes did their best primarily for your sake, our fans.

I would like to address guests of Belarus and the hero city of Minsk: You’ve had a chance to visit a beautiful country that is very comfortable for life and recreation. You’ve been introduced to a kind and hardworking people who lives without wars, shocks, and conflicts. And if you want to hear quietness ever again, feel free to come to Belarus.

And to you, my dear Lesik, I am particularly grateful. Your friendly hugs and unrivaled showmanship will always remain in memory of millions of people. You’ve stolen our hearts. We want to believe that in your magical forest you will not forget us and will return to us once again.

Dear friends,

A touching and sad moment has come - we are closing the 2ndEuropean Games. But we don’t say goodbye. We say see you later instead. Later in Belarus at any time. You will always be welcomed here.

Certainly, all of us will look forward to the next European Games. And may their history be long and glorious!