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Opinions & Interviews

7 Sep 2017

Lukashenko on 2019 European Games: No frills, beautiful, heartwarming

Lukashenko on 2019 European Games: No frills, beautiful, heartwarming

MINSK, 7 September (BelTA) – The Second European Games 2019 should be organized at a high level, but with no frills, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Belarus held on 7 September to discuss the preparations for the international sport forum, BelTA has learned.

“We need to take our nation, the country, the state to the highest level of development, and the games should help us do it. Everything should be done for people. No need for pomposity. Everything should be done beautifully. We will not be able to make it better than Russia did in Sochi or Azerbaijan did in Baku. We do not need it. They spent hundreds of millions of US dollars on the opening and closing ceremonies alone. I am not saying we have no such money. We would find the necessary funds if this was worth it. But we do not need it. What we need is to beat this with the hospitality of our people. Both opening and closing should be heartwarming ceremonies,” the Belarusian leader said.

Alexander Lukashenko noted that necessary specialists can be invited for consultations if there is a need for advice from experts or there are good examples abroad. “They will be glad to come and tell you how to do it,” he said.

Speaking of the need to renovate the main sports facilities or tidy the country up, the head of state noted that not much needs to be done in this regard. “We keep the country tidy, especially Minsk. We just need to put finishing touches on the capital city and other places,” the president said.

The head of state stressed that the infrastructure developed for the European Games will stay in Belarus for decades. “We will not have to build any new things another 10-20 years. Everything will remain in place and our athletes, national teams will use this infrastructure to train,” he added.

The upcoming international sporting event is important from the point of view of attracting tourists. “The guests who will come for the games will be followed by others. Tourism means income for our country, which is located at the crossroads of all roads. The games will invigorate the country. People understand that we need to give the best account of ourselves. A lot of different people will come to Belarus. We will not deny entry to anybody. There will be ill-wishers who do not like us for our successes, weaknesses and so on. They will watch and examine all processes taking place in Belarus through a magnifying glass,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

“We should communicate to every person what he should accomplish prior to these games,” the Belarusian leader said.

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