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Opinions & Interviews

19 Jan 2017

Joint bid for hosting 2021 IIHF World Championship seen as important step in Belarus-EU relations

Joint bid for hosting 2021 IIHF World Championship seen as important step in Belarus-EU relations

MINSK, 19 January (BelTA) – The bid for hosting the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship submitted jointly by Belarus and Latvia is an important step in the relations between the European Union and Belarus, Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs said at a press conference on 19 January, BelTA has learned.

Nils Usakovs thanked the Belarusian side for the decision to place a joint bid. “Riga and Minsk have a long-standing friendship. The joint bid is an important move not only in terms of sports, but also in terms of the relations between the European Union and Belarus. We will keep our fingers crossed and hope that our bid wins and we hold the tournament together at a high level,” Nils Usakovs said.

Joint bid for hosting 2021 IIHF World Championship seen as important step in Belarus-EU relationsThe press conference discussed matters related to Belarus’ visa-free entry rules in the context of the 2021 ice hockey tournament. “Considering the steps that Belarus has been taking towards the European Union, establishment of visa-free travel by 2021 does not seem unreal to me,” Nils Usakovs noted.

Joint bid for hosting 2021 IIHF World Championship seen as important step in Belarus-EU relationsThe Minsk Town Hall hosted a ceremony to sign the agreement on join organization of the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship on 19 January. Belarus and Latvia’s bid will compete with that of Finland. The final decision on the host country will be made during the IIHF Congress in Cologne on 19 May 2017.

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