MINSK, April 08. /ITAR-TASS/. Western politicians realise to an ever greater extent that pressure on Belarus has lost its importance, Belarusian President Aleksander Lukashenko has said.
“Certain Western officials have called for working out new views and approaches towards Belarus,” Lukashenko said on Tuesday.
He was speaking at a session of the Security Council devoted to ensuring security at the 2013 Ice Hockey World Championship due to take place in Minsk in May.
“Such championships always have a political background. Long ago sports became part of big politics, very often dirty politics,” Lukashenko said.
“I can see many speculations over the championship: the opposition is called for boycotting the tournament and our foreign ill-wishers do not stop at blackmail,” he said.
“Some Western politicians tried to heighten the tensions and to use sophisticated means of information pressure,” Lukashenko said.
“They preferred to get information from politically biased sources and advance false claims and political requirements,” he said.
Belarus praises the support provided by international sports organisations.
“Despite harsh pressures by some European organisations and politicians, the International Ice Hockey Federation and its president, Rene Fasel, were intransigent and faithful to sports ideals,” Lukashenko said.
He described their behaviour as brave.
“For those living in the West it is not easy to withstand such pressure,” he said.
“Belarusians should hold the championship as the brightest event in the history of sports. This is a landmark event and a real sports holiday for the Belarusian people and for millions of hockey amateurs,” Lukashenko said.