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Belarus President: We are holding European Games to consolidate nation

The II European Games should be organized at a decent level, but without excessive pomposity, said the President of Belarus, who is also head of the National Olympic Committee of the country, on September 7. The President held a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Olympic Committee.

The second European Games in history will be held in Minsk in June 2019. Interest in becoming the hosts of the competition was shown by Great Britain, Poland Russia and Turkey. However, it was the capital of Belarus that was chosen as the venue. Now the country is in preparing for the "European Olympics", a term coined by sports officials and fans.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
I think that enough time has passed to sum up what has already been done, to discuss the problems and to outline the tasks for the future. Various groups of experts, consultants already come to Belarus to discuss all the details related to the preparation for the Games. The government regularly informs me that the work is underway and we are moving in the right direction. But I'm worried by a number of issues, and above all the main question why we decided to host this event: the country does not yet live these Games. For whom will we hold these Games? Is this for you and me sitting at this table? The coverage of the preparations for the European Games is insufficient. I would like to hear what is being done in this direction, when our citizens will begin to receive information about how this prep work is going on. After all, the European Games are an important event that should give our society a powerful ideological impetus, above all ideological one; it should consolidate the nation even more.
I am informed of the lag in the preparation of sports infrastructure and other facilities. Today, the government proposed to postpone the deadline for the completion of the reconstruction of the sports and rifle complex in Uruchye until December 31, 2018. I do not even ask whether it's late or not. I answer all the questions at once: there cannot be any proposals to me regarding postponements. Everything should be done on time, as we decided.

The President demanded that prices not go up during the Games, like it was in Baku in 2015. He also criticized recent performances of athletes at major championships, especially the performance in team sports such as ice hockey and football.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
Don't go to the National Olympic Committee or the Government for money. There's no money there. Show results and you will get money for them. If Ivan Tikhon takes responsibility for 10-12 promising shot putters of the country, we will finance him and these activities. That's all. The rest should be earned by federations themselves. Don't go begging for budgetary money. You depend on this money too much! 

The European Games events will take place at more than 10 Minsk arenas: from Minsk-Arena to the Dinamo stadium. Some of the facilities are completely ready for the competition, while others are yet to be completed. Among them is a gym for playing sports in Filimonova Street. Training sessions in different sports may be organized here.

Belarus President: We are holding European Games to consolidate nation