Kremlin: Putin, Lukashenko to hit the ice for some hockey after Sochi bilateral summit

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SOCHI, February 15. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko will most likely play an ice hockey match later in the afternoon after their meeting at the Educational Center Sirius in the Russian resort city of Sochi, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

“Both leaders will continue their contacts today in various formats and we think it is possible that they would decide to play ice hockey later in the afternoon,” Peskov told journalists.

The presidents are visiting the Educational Center Sirius, where they are set to hear reports from ministers of culture, education and sports from both countries.

“This is a relatively new but very interesting format, which underscores the importance of the development of the mutually beneficial cooperation,” the presidential spokesman said.

Asked by a correspondent how Putin feels after sustaining a slight injury during his judo training last night, Peskov said that Putin “feels marvelous,” adding that despite the injury “he is planning to meet with Lukashenko and to play ice hockey afterwards.”

Putin attended a judo training in the ‘Yug Sport’ center in Sochi late on Thursday and sparred with several Olympic champions. A finger on his right hand was slightly injured in the process, but the problem was solved with a piece of adhesive bandage, and the training continued.

The 66-year-old Russian president, known for his avid support of sports development in Russia, is a black belt holder in judo and he regularly practices.

In 2012, the International Judo Federation granted Putin an eighth Dan for his work to promote this sport. In his youth Putin was judo champion of his home city Leningrad, now called St. Petersburg. In 2008, he starred in the judo video “Let’s Learn Judo With Vladimir Putin.”

The Russian leader first appeared on the ice, playing hockey in 2012, just several hours after his inauguration and it was as part of the traditional Night Ice Hockey League. He has played regularly since then at this annual event and during the most recent match of the Night Ice Hockey League on December 29, 2018 on Moscow’s Red Square Putin scored an opening goal that led his team to 14-10 win over the opponents.

The Night Ice Hockey League was established at Putin’s initiative several years ago. Hockey enthusiasts started gathering at sports stadiums during their spare time, usually late in the evening (hence the league’s name) to play their favorite game just for fun.

Read the original article in full at TASS

Article Sourced via TASS

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