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15 Feb 2019

Russia asked for support in development of sports in Belarus

Russia asked for support in development of sports in Belarus

SOCHI, 15 February (BelTA) – Belarus’ is interested in Russia’s support for the development of certain sports in Belarus, President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Russia President Vladimir Putin to discuss humanitarian cooperation on 15 February, BelTA has learned.

Alexander Lukashenko made a corresponding request when speaking about figure skating. He remarked that all bases and major schools were situated in Russia in Soviet times. They have been developed and surpassed that level in recent time. “There are too many coaches and especially athletes in Russia,” the head of state remarked.

He said that many talented athletes who do not finish in the top three at national competitions do not have an opportunity to compete at the international level. “Since we have enough space for them, they could also compete for Belarus,” Alexander Lukashenko said. “We would like to see a bigger spectrum of Russians here. They could compete for Belarus. If they prepare well, they will be even able to challenge Russia’s biggest stars.”

“The same pertains to coaches and specialists. We will provide enough ice for figure skating,” the Belarusian leader added. “It would be great if Russia shared its talents and helped us raise this sport to a corresponding level.”

Belarus is also interested in developing fencing with Russia’s support.

“As for other fields such as art, science, etc., Belarusians and Russians often join efforts,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

On the whole, he stressed that a decision was made at the highest level to pay attention to humanitarian cooperation. Therefore, the meeting was attended by the ministers of sport, education and culture. “The amount of work that is done as part of our relations, of the Union State, is bigger than I imagined as president. It is good,” the head of state shared his impressions about the recent conversation. “When you listen to ministers, you are very pleased that they are speaking the same language. I do not mean the Russian language (it is also important). They understand each other.”

Alexander Lukashenko said that the sides have built a good system for the development of relations at various levels. This system relies not only on meetings at the level of the heads of state and governments. It also relies on close contacts between various ministries. “The Forum of Regions is held at the regional level, and there is colossal effect,” the head of state said.

The president of Russia also emphasized the importance of cooperation in the humanitarian field which is a foundation and basis for the development of any society. “All what is done in this field is meant for people. This is the enhancement of the human potential. It is impossible to solve other tasks without it. Therefore, the today’s meeting is very important,” he said. Vladimir Putin suggested holding joint meetings of Belarusian and Russian agencies specializing in humanitarian cooperation. In his words, it would be great to determine short-term and mid-term plans of joint work.

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