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World Ice Hockey Championship as leverage over Belarusian regime 40

15:39, — Politics

European politicians want to exert pressure on official Minsk through the Ice Hockey Championship in 2014.

Such an opinion was voiced when the European Parliament Commission on Foreign Affairs discussed the Belarusian issue, Euroradio informs.

The Ice Hockey Championship is a real possibility to influence the regime. It will demonstrate our attitude to the regime, former Foreign Minister of Estonia Kristiina Ojuland said.

German MEP Alexander Graf Lambsdorff noted that holding the world championship in Belarus would become an absolute triumph of Lukashenka and the preliminary decision of the International ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).

A high European official from the European External Action Service Gunnar Wiegand has stated that the Council of Ministers of the EU had to react to the opinion of the European Parliament, and now discussion on the ice hockey world championship is held.

Some countries support the proposal, and some dont. Its a sensitive issue which mixes sport with politics. Sometimes a parallel with boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games in 1980 is drawn. This issue is being discussed, Gunnar Wiegand said.

We remind that in January 2010 the European Parliament cast an affirmative vote for the resolution on Belarus. According to it, holding the World Ice Hockey tournament in Belarus should be postponed while there are political prisoners in the countries.

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