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<img class="imgl" alt="During meeting of Alexander Lukashenko with Rene Fasel" src="http://www.belarus-magazine.by/belen/data/upimages/2009/0001-009-418.jpg">[b]Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk should become the best ever[/b]<br />President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has promised that the forthcoming Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk will be the best in the history of ice hockey. Mr. Lukashenko made this statement as he met the President of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and a member of the International Olympic Committee Renй Fasel, who’s been to Minsk on a one-day visit.
Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk should become the best ever

During meeting of Alexander Lukashenko with Rene FaselPresident of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has promised that the forthcoming Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk will be the best in the history of ice hockey. Mr. Lukashenko made this statement as he met the President of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and a member of the International Olympic Committee Renй Fasel, who’s been to Minsk on a one-day visit.
Alexander Lukashenko noted that Renй Fasel made a great personal contribution to the preparation for the championship. “You`ve visited Minsk many times, offered your advice and helped supervise the work,” noted the President. He thanked Mr. Fasel and his colleagues for the huge amount of work and support provided to Belarus during this period.
The President of Belarus also thanked Mr. Fasel for the courage that he and the International Ice Hockey Federation demonstrated in relation to Belarus and the World Championship in Minsk.
“I’m well aware of the pressure on the International Federation. You felt this pressure, too. Our hockey players are proud of the President of the International Ice Hockey Federation. They say that he is a real man who declared that sport has nothing to do with politics; if the decision was made to hold the championship in Minsk, it means it will be held in Minsk,” said the Belarusian President.
“The pressure was really tough. To be honest, I even started doubting the outcome when the tensions were running high. I thought — is it possible that Renй Fasel will give up and back down? He held out,” added Mr. Lukashenko addressing the President of the International Ice Hockey Federation.
Renй Fasel admitted that there was a certain pressure on the Federation. “However, our position is simple: we keep sport and politics apart and this position remains unchanged,” he said. Renй Fasel expressed confidence that the World Championship in Minsk will be a great success and visitors and participants of the event will enjoy the hospitality and cordiality of Belarusian people and this great sport event.
Mr. Lukashenko noted that Minsk is ready for the Championship: the most advanced sports palaces were built to host the event; there are enough additional sports facilities where athletes can train at any time of the year; and the necessary infrastructure was created.

By Vladimir Mikheev
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