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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 23.01.2021, 22:55

Czech minister questions ice hockey worlds in Belarus

BC, Riga, 03.12.2020.Print version

The Czech foreign minister said Wednesday he could not imagine next year's World Ice Hockey Championship taking place in Belarus whose regime keeps cracking down on peaceful protests., informs LETA/AFP.

Belarus has been shaken by protests against strongman President Alexander Lukashenko's 26-year rule ever since an election in August in which he claimed victory.

The vote sparked massive rallies across Belarus which is set to co-host the tournament in May and June 2021 with Latvia.

The Baltic state has already said it did not want Belarus to be involved. "Holding a big event such as the world championships in a country where violence against peacefully protesting people continues... I can't imagine that," Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said in a tweet.

He told reporters in Prague that "we should not legitimize a repressive regime of the Alexander Lukashenko type by letting it organize the World Ice Hockey Championship".

The International Ice Hockey Federation has asked a special commission of experts to research if the tournament can still be held in Belarus and a decision is expected within days.

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